Economic crises can be trying times for recruitment and talent acquisition professionals in any industry. Markets going in the wrong direction can lead to downsizing, layoffs and other changes within your business. Some organizations start restructuring from the bottom to the top. These shake-ups can lead to top talent leaving your company to pursue other ventures. That’s why recruiters use these strategies to acquire and retain talent during a crisis.

Emphasizing Remote Work

Telework increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and research has shown it’s here to stay. Remote work will constitute about 25% of all professional jobs in North America by the end of 2022. 

The pandemic has shifted people’s priorities — they want a better work-life balance and can achieve that with remote work. Employees across many industries can do their job from home.

About 61% of people who have worked remotely since 2020 prefer to stay that way rather than return to the office. Remote work is popular with Millennial and Gen Z adults, so telework is an essential factor if you’re a recruiter wanting to attract and retain young talent.

Being Honest With Employees

Your word is your bond — this phrase goes back to the days of Shakespeare and beyond and it holds true for businesses. The best thing you and your company can do during an economic crisis is to stay honest with its employees and new hires.

This notion applies during hard times and brighter times. Being candid and telling staff what’s happening is better than hiding information and lying about the current state of affairs.

Honesty sets the tone for the workplace culture, which is a big deal for potential employees. If talented prospects hear rave reviews about your company’s culture, they might be more likely to jump on board and stick around for a long time.

Pushing Ongoing Learning

The initial training sessions a manager or HR representative gives a new hire are vital because they set the tone for the job. Equally important is the opportunity to continue learning and growing in their field.

Workers want to learn and develop marketable skills in their careers that will elevate them up the chain. Ongoing training benefits your company as much as it does the employees.

Some companies may offer a discount or a stipend for online college courses. Others may have in-house training sessions targeted to whatever industries the business has. Providing workers with opportunities for these classes is critical because they’ll gain skills and become more marketable, which will help them feel valued during a crisis.

Touting Compensation Packages

The pandemic has changed the world’s economy and shifted what workers need from a job. When they look for a new position, they want to set themselves up for success by monetarily taking care of themselves and their families. A benefits package is a crucial way to acquire the best talent, yet only 22% of companies promote it during recruitment.

A compensation package is critical because it’s one of the first things job hunters look for in the description you post online. When prospective hires see the pay and benefits, they’ll get an impression of your company based on that alone.

A robust package with benefits for the employees and their families will show your business truly cares about them. Stressing excellent coverage is essential because it will help retain employees long-term. About 43% of workers who quit a job say poor benefits were a reason for their departure — a whopping 63% cited low compensation.

Showing Care for Mental Health

Mental wellness has become an increasingly important topic inside and outside the workplace. Young people especially show concern and take action when they feel their mental health is suboptimal. About 68% of Millennials and 81% of Gen Zers say they have left a job for mental health reasons.

To recruit a younger workforce and retain these talents, you as a recruiter need to show how your company prioritizes mental health. One way the HR department can achieve this is through an investment in mental health training.

When you show you care about the employees’ mental health, it helps workers in the short and long term by reducing turnover and keeping everyone content. Mental health training can help increase productivity, mitigate stigmas and minimize the risk of substance abuse disorders.

How to Acquire and Retain Talent

Recruiting and keeping great talents can be a tall task for talent acquisition professionals, especially in an economic crisis. Since the pandemic, workers have new priorities regarding the workplace and are more choosy when selecting a new job. They prioritize themselves, their mental health and their families.

With remote work becoming the norm, increasing telework options has become necessary. Prioritizing mental health training, touting benefits packages, including ongoing learning and demonstrating honesty are a few things you can do to keep the best talent.

Devin Partida

Devin Partida is a business technology and talent recruitment writer. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of