What can job seekers do when hiring slows down?

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While working professionals everywhere have a lot on their minds these days, I’ve heard from a number of job seekers expressing worry about the sudden drop in communication with companies with whom they had been interviewing.

Because of the current economic climate, a lot of employers are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to their hiring. Though companies might have forecasted a specific need and headcount in their current fiscal year, many choose to actively interview for fewer positions at the present moment due to tenuous market conditions or business performance. They opt to stagger the hiring activities, looking for cues to resume regular activity when market conditions improve.

So, what to do if you’ve been in the thick of the job search and find that companies aren’t calling you as frequently as they had earlier this year? 

First, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Unfortunately, this is happening everywhere and frustrating many people.

Here are five things to consider if you find yourself in a hiring slowdown:

1. Shift your view to one of the long game. As companies take time to figure things out, take a step back and re-set expectations around the speed of your job search. Yes, it will likely mean your search will take longer than expected and a shift in mindset will need to occur. But realize that these delays are happening everywhere and that a bit of patience will serve you well. 

2. It’s a good time to focus on all the things you said you wanted to do when you wished you had more time. You know how you’ve said you really wanted to give the time to work on that resume of yours? Or learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, or perhaps, attend that webinar on personal branding? Well, as things are not as hectic, it’s a great time to focus on the activities you’ve been putting on the back burner. Take stock of the ‘foundational’ activities that you’ve been delaying – and by foundational, we mean all the non-sexy things like networking, building new connections, and improving the areas of our professional profiles by doing new things. 

LinkedIn Learning offers a multitude of excellent ways to keep building skills around how we present ourselves professionally. Some of my favorite classes I’ve taken in the past year are Use Your Strengths For Impact and Influence at Work by Branding Expert Marielle Legair, along with Increase Visibility To Advance Your Career by Dawn Graham, PhD, LP.

3. Keep going. Though it’s good to try new things that support your overall goals of career advancement,  stay consistent with your job search routine. Keep doing the things to seek out new job opportunities.  Sign up for notifications on the sites and apps you follow to learn about new postings, and keep that monthly meet-up with your mentor or former colleagues to stay in the know of what’s happening with them, and to share what you’re looking for. You’ll see that keeping up with your usual activities will serve as a steady pulse as other market conditions change. 

4. Stay connected. You might feel that you really don’t want to pay any mind to a company or recruiter who has ghosted you, especially since seeming to be so into you weeks earlier.  

Though others choose to take the easy way out, not giving the courtesy to provide updates, it doesn’t mean you have to act that way. 

Consider staying in touch to provide timely updates – but make yourself available for dialogue with recruiters or companies that seem worth your time and energy.

You get to pick the people you wish to keep connected to your job search progress and happenings, establishing the cadence and what information you want to share.

5. Find support and commiserate.   Connecting with people in a similar situation can be helpful during times like these. Earlier this year, I started The Move Up Mindset Career Community to serve this purpose. These are free, virtual meet-ups, held on the 2nd Saturday of each month. I facilitate these calls where job seekers looking for insight and advice on a variety of career and job search topics can ask questions freely, and connect with others with the same kind of questions in a space that won’t penalize nor judge them.

To learn more and get in the know, sign up here. Be a part of the community & gain the support and insight from an experienced hiring professional.

What things have you been focusing on as hiring pauses and slowdowns are in effect? I’d love to know. Please comment below.

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