How to Hire and Inspire Employees with a Looming Recession?

With looming uncertainty of an upcoming recession despite record low unemployment rates, employers need to crack the code on hiring and inspiring employees more than ever.

To do this, leverage the brain’s desire to avoid uncertainty and offer stability.

Macroeconomists are predicting the possibility of a recession, defined by two consecutive quarters of shrinking Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In Q1 2022, the US GDP dropped by 1.4%, and we are looking at ending Q2 with another drop.

Inflation is at a 40 year high, interest rates are rising, and consumer confidence is declining.

Despite these leading economic indicators, hiring is still challenging, and unemployment remains low at 3.6% for the past three months.

Many employees are asking for more – more money, more flexibility, more benefits – and with a possibility of recession, many employers are nervous about their ability to hire new people, as well as how to retain and inspire their existing workforce.

With looming uncertainty, many people crave stability.

Dr. David Rock describes that “Your brain craves certainty and avoids uncertainty like it’s pain.”—(Rock, David. “Hunger for Certainty”: Psychology Today, October 25, 2009.)

Good Change Management not only motivates people to do something new; it also reinforces certainty and inspiring confidence in leaders and an entire organization – even while the business itself is undergoing change or operating in uncertain times.

Are you able to offer stability to employees?

Can you provide certainty amidst the winds of change? Can your team count on the leaders in your organization to be present, and to have their best interests at heart? When is the last time your people managers had a meaningful discussion with their direct reports about the current state of the world and your organization, and asked what concerns they have for the future? Do you ask about potential new hires’ concerns with the future and provide confidence that your organization will be able to weather it through?

Offering stability in an uncertain world can convince new and existing employees that your organization is the place to be if and when the US dips into recession.

YOU as a leader are the person to inspire this confidence in your team.