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How HR Can Be Prepared for the Recession

Updated: Dec 11, 2019


Nobody likes to think about a potential recession, but it’s an unavoidable eventuality. While some reports indicate that 77% of economists expect a recession by the end of 2021 and others put it closer to 45% by 2020, there’s no denying that the experts see it coming. It’s no longer a matter of if, but a question of when. This in mind, HR should be using whatever time we do have to prepare. Here’s a quick look at what you can be doing now to lessen the sting of the next recession.


Give Yourself a Refresher Course on Layoffs

You may not want to let anyone go, but it’s important to remember that 8.7 million jobs were lost between late 2007 and early 2010; casualties of the Great Recession. Make the time to review your company’s policies related to layoffs. Consider what criteria your organization uses to make decisions about who stays and who goes and whether your system complies with laws, can be applied fairly, and if any groups will be disproportionally impacted. During the last recession, age discrimination cases surged, costing organizations incredible sums in legal defense and reputation.


Evaluate Your Processes

Efficiency is key when it comes to breezing through a recession. Companies have to do more with less. Take some time to go over all the various processes your department is responsible for and brainstorm ideas that will eliminate redundancies or allow you to work more efficiently. This is obviously a boon regardless of the timing, but doing it now makes it easier to explore opportunities, test solutions, and become proficient in new methods at your own pace.

If you’ve been holding off on tech that can make life easier, you should also get it now while the budget has more wiggle room and become comfortable using it before you’re under pressure.


Find Out Where You Stand with Employees

You should already be using employee engagement surveys and other tools to measure how happy people are with the company. After all, happy employees are motivated, enthusiastic, and more productive, and using engagement tools can help you identify trouble areas before they become serious problems. With a recession looming, however, it’s about so much more than productivity. You’ll be relying on your top performers to carry some extra weight if there are layoffs, and if they’re not happy now, there’s almost no chance they’ll stick around and support you later.


Strengthen Relationships

With the survey results in hand, you’ll be in a good position to improve company culture and engagement now. This will ensure your top performers maintain their fortitude and will lessen the impact the recession has on morale overall.


Be Ahead of the Curve

The HR Source is a full-service staffing agency and consultancy. We keep our blog section packed with fresh tips and information that helps HR departments and the organizations they serve excel. To avoid missing a post and be ahead of the curve when the recession strikes, follow us now.

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