by Lisa Zone

April 4, 2023

Earlier this year, news of mass layoffs and RIFs in the tech space left that industry reeling. Now, more industries and companies are announcing layoffs and hiring freezes as the economy remains uncertain.

But for many organizations, there’s still communications or marketing work that needs to be done ahead of an upcoming product launch, ESG report, leadership transition or other big projects. And now, there may fewer hands to do it. What’s the solution? Here are three ideas to help you navigate your most pressing communications needs with a smaller staff:

1. EXPLORE USING AI. If you work in any aspect of marketing or communications, you’ve likely been hearing about (and maybe even using) AI tools like ChatGPT, CapCut, Descript and more, to help with everything from content generation to video editing to graphic design. While many of these tools are still in early-stage development and may not be able to do the job from top to bottom for you, they can give you and your team a head start on projects that involve writing, design and video. If you’re worried about some of the ongoing questions around copyright and AI, explore using these tools simply for design inspiration or to overcome the inertia of getting a project started.

2. CONDUCT A KEEP/STOP/START ASSESSMENT. Sometimes, the answer is that you just simply can’t keep doing everything you were previously doing, no matter how talented or driven your (now smaller) team is. Consider conducting a keep/stop/start exercise to help you identify those activities that are providing the biggest return – as well as those that are sucking energy, resources or dollars with very little impact. This type of workshop can typically be completed in a few hours (especially if you come to the session armed with relevant data), which is time well spent if it helps you prioritize where you and your team should be focusing your time and budget until the economy stabilizes and hiring picks back up.

3. CONSIDER AN EMBEDDED RESOURCE. We also find that clients are sometimes faced with hiring freezes or RIFs, but they do have budget available for outsourced support. Yet, outsourcing just isn’t always the same as having someone on staff to work as part of your team. For decades, Dix & Eaton has offered clients the opportunity to temporarily “hire” one of our team members to become one of their team members in an embedded resource role. This kind of arrangement can be a low-risk, short-term way to get work completed by someone who already knows your company while the economy – or your HR department – dictates that hiring an FTE just isn’t in the cards.

There’s no real way to predict what the remainder of the year has in store, but planning ahead and getting creative now can pay dividends down the road if you’re faced with doing the same amount of work with a smaller team.

If you’re interested in learning more about our embedded resource offering or having us facilitate a Keep/Stop/Start workshop for you, please drop me a note and let’s get the conversation started.