4 Ways You Can Hold Onto Talent During an Economic Downturn

A business downturn should be used as an opportunity.

It’s hard to open any app or media without seeing some threat of a recession or an economic downturn. No matter where you are, many are convinced that the sky is falling—and quite rapidly, too.

However, unlike the others, we’re not interested in telling you how to recession-proof your business or a million ways you could cut costs. That’s fluff, and you’re not looking for that. And, frankly, recessions don’t impact luxury retail in the same way they do other industries. You’re looking for the meat and bones of how to thrive, not just survive.

Thriving during an economic downturn is all about the talent your business employs. After all, retaining your valued employees is the surest way to weather any storm—and our team at The Bowerman Group can help you find the right talent.

Anticipate the Power Shift

Since 2020, power has shifted between so many hands it’s hard to keep track. What remains a constant is that the covenant between employee and employer has changed permanently. If you’re holding onto the notion that the recession will be a reset back to “normal,” you’ll be sorely mistaken.

Before you act, examine the reasons “why” your talent might leave. Targeting these issues is essential to retaining good employees. The longer you take to act or resolve problems, the more likely it is that you’ll lose good people. Every business, every market and every employee are dynamic, so plan now and anticipate the challenges you expect to face during an economic downturn.

Invest in Your Talent Programs

During a downturn, your organization will realize that, if nothing else, talent is all you have. Your company’s ability to innovate, create and provide excellent customer service lies in the hands of the people that work for you. Building an enduring work culture is essential to holding onto talent when times get tough.

Remember to reward your high performers. Give them bonuses. Recognize their achievements. Even during an economic downturn, some will thrive off the stress and will rise to the occasion. Talent that will solve problems and innovate is the key to creating that enduring work culture that will help you grow when stability returns and business thrives.

Cutting costs should be done surgically and not simply for the sake of penny-pinching. Focus on the people, departments and projects that need change rather than massive, company-wide layoffs that will dramatically lower employee engagement and loyalty. Layoffs should be done as humanely as possible and in a positive way to not make your employees worry.

Continue the Search

Despite the economic forecast, the job market is still hot. As time goes on, however, a persisting downturn may cool the job market, and the industry’s best talent will be open to better opportunities. Before you initiate a hiring freeze, consider upgrading your workforce and your talent search with us.

We offer a curated and brand-focused approach to recruiting for premium and luxury brand markets across multiple practice areas such as retail, wholesale, E-Comm, marketing and C-Suite executive search.

Work With Professionals

Recruiting luxury retail talent during a downturn can be challenging. Working with a luxury brand-focused recruiter who has experience leading companies through hard times can help you come out of a slowdown or recession ahead of your competitors. As veteran luxury recruiters, we at Bowerman understand that economic downturns and recessions create favorable conditions for employers, and we want to help you find the best talent there is.

Pain points in hiring can affect your team. If you’re spending too much of your valuable time searching for talent or dealing with an overworked and constrained internal recruiting department, we can help. Working with a dedicated recruitment professional is the best way to plan and create long-term success during an economic downturn.


A business downturn should be used as an opportunity. The Bowerman Group is your partner for reinvesting in the core of your organization to strengthen not only your talent but also to reinvent your company. Let us lead your organization and reach out to a recruiter today.