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Resilience & Recruitment: Navigating Through Recessionary Times

As recessions reduce economic activity, it is well known that the effects may have far-reaching ramifications for business, such as decreased productivity, reduced hiring, and declines in output and sales. Consequently, a commercial downturn can have a significant impact on recruitment and the job market as a whole, and many businesses opt to not address their unmet staffing needs rather than implementing recruitment strategies during these times.

While a recession can be a challenging and uncertain time, with careful planning and adaptability, it is possible for companies to withstand the effects and bounce back stronger. Including in their recruitment efforts, as recessions often present unique hiring opportunities for businesses that may not typically arise during stable economic conditions.

We have experienced major recessions at Allen Recruitment, such as the recession post 9/11, The Great Recession (2008) or after the Covid pandemic (2020). While they presented great challenges to our business, they also provided us with opportunities.


The cost-of-living crisis and the inflation during these times affect both employers and employees. As a result of market uncertainties, financial restrictions, lack of insight or access to ideal candidates, many companies stumble with navigating an unsteady employment trajectory.

Using our experience with clients and knowledge of the market, we have discovered that during these times companies are faced with a number of hiring challenges:

  • May have a permanent head count freeze but still need specific talent for projects.
  • Don’t have access to available talent or don’t know how to find them.
  • Can’t move fast enough to secure this talent (or too slow in finding them).
  • Might be uneasy hiring given the uncertainty in the market.
  • Unable or uneasy about using recruitment agencies for financial reasons.

Difficult circumstances also present opportunities to whip your business into shape, as long as you make sure to capitalize on them and reorient yourself correctly:

  • More Top Talent Available and Less Competition

As a result of the layoffs, there are many job seekers currently searching for their next employment opportunity, and employers can capitalize on the potential to tap into talent that is rarely available. Besides laying off employees, many companies are scaling back, sitting tight, and reducing spending – meaning there is less competition for great talent, as fewer positions are open.

This is an unprecedented opportunity to tap into high-skilled talent, and your business can hire the best professionals that your competitors or blue-chip companies laid off. There is no doubt that businesses need to address short-term concerns in order to ensure stability, yet those that are able also to focus on the long run are more likely to succeed. Improving your workforce now will allow your business the advantage to gain a competitive advantage when the economy improves.

  • Utilise Gig Workers (independent contractors, temporary workers, etc)

Contractors and temps can be an incredible tool to weather economic uncertainty. The flexibility and cost-savings that come with contractors and temps is a real advantage – less of a long term financial commitment to these workers which gives flexibility in economic uncertainty.

With a lot of recent redundancies and the uncertainty around the market, professionals may be especially open to gig opportunities. An increase in remote working makes it easier for companies to employ remote workers across the world.

  • Upskilling & Diversify the Industries/Services of your Business

This is an ideal chance to take advantage of quieter business times and upskill employees, being better equipped to take advantage of when the economy changes. Use this window to give your employees time to skill up in fields that will be key to their positions once business improves again.

Another good approach is also found in establishing multiple industries – and types of customers that can be serviced, as this will keep the business afloat if one disappears. Identify industries where there are opportunities to grow in and that aren’t saturated. Exploring areas where you can offer your services is a great idea. We have taken advantage of this by expanding our portfolio over time, expanding our client base and the industries that we operate in so we are better prepared for future downturns (f.e. introducing services such as Allen Embedded, Allen Outsource, Allen Senior Appoinments, etc).


Working closely with our clients, our first objective is to find out what their needs are and how our flexible solutions can solve their problems. Allen Recruitment can support any type of contract (permanent, temporary or contract) and our team is equipped to source, headhunt and manage employees, as well as hire and employ pre-identified candidates on your behalf across Europe.

We are not marketers or recruiters. We are technologists first and data scientists second. Relying on our data-driven approach and our AI-powered tools, we can access top talent for our clients by doing things differently: our Data Scientists do detailed analysis of our client’s criteria and establish the potential talent pool – we call this a Talent Intelligence Report. To fill any role, we find enough potential candidates (an average of 117), making sure they are interested in working for your company with the selected budget and location, and are qualified to fill the position.

In terms of hiring and payrolling temporary/contract workers, we can offer a number of high touch services that suit employers and employee’s needs:

  • Our local country entity ensures local compliance with registration procedures, employment contracts, payroll, HR regulations and tax law.
  • Our services can allow staff to work remotely or move to your preferred location, if required.
  • Client and employee contracts are issued both in English & additional local language, if applicable.
  • We have local on the ground staff with both English & local language support.
  • Our billing solution is simple and convenient – we can bill clients in their preferred location and currency and can offer delayed payment terms if required.
  • We can provide a full breakdown of fees with no hidden charges and our services can be invoiced as a service or outsourced fee if required.
  • Our billing solution is simple and convenient – we can bill clients in their preferred location and currency and can offer delayed payment terms if required.
  • We can provide a full breakdown of fees with no hidden charges and our services can be invoiced as a service or outsourced fee if required.

When a recession hits, it is common for companies to cut costs by reducing their workforce. However, for businesses that are proactive in hiring during this time, they can come out of the recession better prepared for the future. A highly skilled workforce will allow your business to cope with the bad times and ultimately thrive in better times.

By using our unique data driven technology, we are able to identify the most qualified candidates for our clients. We are also able to remove the administrative workload that can come with manual recruitment methods and instead focus on building meaningful relationships with potential candidates. In contrast to conventional recruitment methods, automation, AI technology, and data science allows our team to connect with a wider pool of suitable candidates and that are a better fit for our client’s roles.

During these times it’s also important to keep in mind that better times will come again, and the key is to keep an eye on the bigger picture. As Charles Swindoll once said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it!”.


About Allen Recruitment

Allen Recruitment Consulting is an international recruitment consultancy business with head offices in the centre of Dublin, Ireland. We are a full-service recruitment company for permanent, temporary, contingent and contract roles. We offer full recruitment outsourcing services, executive search and headhunting services, and much more. With offices all over Europe – IrelandPolandthe UKSpainSweden, France, Belgium and the Netherlands – Allen Recruitment can help expand your company abroad.


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