Growing Your Team During a Market Downturn: Strategies for Success

As a business leader, the prospect of growing your team during a market downturn can be a daunting challenge. With uncertainty in the economy and potential setbacks, it can be difficult to find and retain top talent.

However, there are strategies that can help you navigate these tough times and set your business up for success in the future. In this article, we will discuss some tips for growing your team during a downturn.

Prioritizing Your Business Needs and Goals

The first step in growing your team during a downturn is to have a clear understanding of your business needs and priorities. Identify the areas of your business that are experiencing growth and determine which roles are essential to achieving your goals. Prioritizing these roles will help you focus your recruitment efforts and make the most of your resources.

Leveraging Alternative Recruiting Methods

In a downturned market, traditional recruiting strategies may not yield the same results. Rather than solely relying on job postings, consider leveraging social media to connect with potential candidates.

Join industry-specific groups, share job openings, and engage with potential candidates to build relationships and grow your network. Referrals from current employees can also be a valuable source of candidates, as they can vouch for the company culture and work environment.

Taking a Long-Term Approach

When growing your team during a downturn, it’s important to take a long-term approach. Instead of solely focusing on immediate needs, consider how your team can help drive future growth. Invest in developing your current team’s skills and capabilities and hire candidates who have the potential for growth and can help drive innovation.

Retention Is Key

Retention is also a critical aspect of growing a team during a downturn. With a candidates’ market and high mobility, it’s important to keep your employees engaged and motivated.

Providing opportunities for professional development and growth, recognizing and rewarding their contributions, and building a positive culture that fosters collaboration, creativity, and a sense of purpose can help retain top talent. Remember, it’s always easier to keep them than to recruit them!

Being Adaptable and Agile

Finally, it’s important to be adaptable and agile in your approach. The market may shift, and your business needs may change, so be prepared to adjust your team and resources accordingly.

Consider alternative work arrangements, such as remote work, to expand your candidate pool and provide flexibility for employees. Remain open to feedback from your team and be willing to make changes to meet their needs.

In conclusion, growing your team during a market downturn can be a challenging task, but it’s not impossible. By focusing on your business priorities, leveraging alternative recruiting methods, investing in your team’s growth and development, building a positive culture, and remaining adaptable, you can set your business up for success in the long run.

Remember that every challenge presents an opportunity for growth and innovation, and with the right strategies and mindset, you can build a strong and resilient team that can weather any storm.


Jo Attard Watters is the Managing Principal and Founder of PeopleEdge Coaching & Consulting. Jo is a professional, Master’s degree qualified Executive and Career Management Coach, Consultant, Business Adviser and Academic who works with individuals and organisations to help them “be the best they can be”. With significant experience within both Corporate and Not for Profit sectors, Jo is passionate about seeing her clients succeed in their areas of interest.  

Contact Jo at for more information.