If the recent survey of the Revenue Collective is to be believed, the hiring scene is a bit bleak now.

There is a lot of ‘wait and see’ on the part of hiring leaders. But the good news is there is still some hiring. If you are recruiting, count yourself lucky!

Here are some things for you to keep in mind for hiring now.

Embrace the opportunity to upgrade talent, if you can. I know some people who are kicking themselves for holding onto C-grade talent longer than they wanted to — and are now stuck with them, thanks to hiring freezes. If you are able to hire, set the bar higher than you have before – there are good people on the market.

Hire people wherever they are. Maybe, to your surprise, working remotely is working for you better than you had expected. You could join the ranks of companies that hire the best talent, wherever that talent is.

Build your dream pipeline. Maybe you can’t hire yet, but you can at least build a great pipeline of marketing leaders in waiting. That way, you won’t have such a long lead time for hiring when the economy picks up. Your dream candidates may be available – or at least open to re-evaluating their situation.

Get away from platitudes when you talk about your culture with candidates. If you’re going to hire now, that is a precious opportunity. Let’s get it right, even if we can’t meet candidates in person.

An example of a platitude: “We’re a work hard and play hard culture.” The problem with this is that it is neither differentiated, nor memorable, nor nuanced. One thing I have found helpful when discussing culture with candidates is this formula:

‘We believe in X…so much that we sometimes struggle with Y.’

For instance: “We believe in ‘get it done’… so much that we sometimes struggle with the quality of the finished work.”

Here’s another formula:

“Our DNA is to focus on X… and the tradeoff is that we sometimes lose focus on Y.”

For instance, “Our DNA is to focus on customers…. And the tradeoff is that we sometimes listen to them so much that we lose focus on the market overall.”

Invite your top candidates to be a fly on the wall to observe your culture. Simply pick a  team meeting, one where you feel comfortable having an observer, and invite a top candidate to sit in. They will learn so much. You can go one step further though. After the meeting, ask for them to share with you their observations and questions.

Use behavioral assessments to increase confidence in hiring. It’s hard to get a gut feeling about someone via Zoom – you can’t even make proper eye contact! Cue the data-driven behavioral assessment. For a lightweight option, the Values in Action survey is great at drawing out personal values. You can have your candidates take that survey to give you – and them — data to have an honest conversation about fit.