Arlington Sports Conditioning - Pete Leibman

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Why the Shutdown Is the Best Time to Recruit

During the shutdown, many executives and investors have asked me the following two questions:

  • “Is anyone hiring now?”
  • “Is now a good time to recruit?”

As an executive recruiter, I am clearly biased. However, no one can deny that the shutdown provides several key recruiting advantages. Companies who cut back on recruiting until things get back to “normal” are really going to regret their decision. Now is actually the best time to recruit. This article features three reasons why.

1. There is an unusually large supply of top talent available.

The most desirable candidates are usually gainfully employed and not actively looking for another role. However, due to the shutdown, there is an unusually large number of outstanding people who have been laid off or furloughed- through no fault of their own.

In the last few months, unemployment and underemployment have skyrocketed. The good news is that this turmoil presents an incredible opportunity for proactive employers. There are more high performers on the sidelines than at any other time in recent memory. Not taking advantage of this surplus of talent is a huge mistake.

2. More people are willing to consider new opportunities.

During the shutdown, many executives have confided in me that COVID-19 has forced them to start considering new opportunities. Many of these people had no intention of leaving their company at the start of the year. However, the uncertainty has given them lots of time to reflect and forced them to keep their eyes and ears open.

Again, this is good news for proactive employers. The current turmoil provides an opportunity to engage people who never would have considered a new role just a few months ago. If your company can present a compelling value proposition, you can attract great people who would have been unattainable before the shutdown.

3. Everyone is at home now.

Successful people can be hard to track down. However, due to the shutdown, everyone is at home now.

Everyone also has more free time than usual. For example, most people have at least 4-5 extra hours each week now, since they don’t have to commute to and from work. People who typically do a lot of business travel have even more free time than usual.

When you are at home, it is also much easier to take a recruiting call. There is no need to close the door to your office or to step into a private conference room. You also don’t need to worry about a colleague overhearing your conversation.

Everyone is in the privacy of their own home now, able to engage in confidential conversations with recruiters. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to build your company’s talent pipeline.

Final Thoughts

So, is anyone hiring now? Yes.

Is now a good time to recruit? Absolutely.

At some point, the world will start to get back to its frenetic, pre-shutdown pace. As that happens, candidates will become less willing and able to engage in recruiting conversations.

Now is the time to be more aggressive with recruiting. Great people are out there, and they are more open than usual to new opportunities.

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About the author: As the Founder of Stronger Talent, Pete Leibman recruits exceptional leaders for innovative sports, fitness, and wellness companies. Throughout his career, Pete has helped clients recruit exceptional leaders at the Board, C-Suite, Senior Vice President, Vice President, General Manager, Managing Director, and Director levels. Pete’s work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and, and he is the author of two books and over 250 articles on career management, peak performance, and executive recruiting.

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