(SPONSORED) — Talks of an incoming recession have not slowed down in the new year as the economy continues to struggle to recover. Director of Data-Driven Economic Strategies Tatiana Bailey provided a look at how employers can be prepared for whatever comes.

Bailey explained there are a lot of indicators of a coming recession, and business owners should be prepared for a possible downturn.

There will be differences by industry, but Bailey shared some common highlights in terms of what experts are saying.

One of the major themes is that employers should be more focused on skills-based hiring. According to Bailey, experts said employers may be paying more than they need to and shrinking their pool of candidates with stringent requirements.

“Smart employers know that we live in a highly specialized world and they often have to be willing to train people,” said Bailey.

Bailey said businesses should also budget for continued increases in the wages they have to pay. While wage growth has cooled slightly, there are still 0.5 workers for each open position, and Bailey explained there will still be wage pressures for businesses, especially for skilled labor that will persist to a degree, even if there is an economic downturn.

“Employers should plan for that, small businesses, in particular, may not always be able to pay the highest wages, but they can offer employees more flexibility in work hours and or location,” said Bailey.

Bailey pointed to worker surveys, which also said that a sense of purpose and being appreciated is often what makes them stay. Praise your workers Bailey said, give them a voice in how things function in your business and try your hardest to accommodate and keep them.

Bailey also said a strong internet presence via social media and or e-commerce is more important than ever. According to Bailey, more than half of global internet users buy something through e-commerce. Depending on how you count e-commerce, it’s currently between 15 and 20% of all sales.

The pandemic was also a lesson that businesses need to study where their intermediate and final products are being produced and how they are being transported said, Bailey.

“Supply disruptions are costly, both in terms of money and customer satisfaction. Business and economic cycles are a part of life, but there are ways to mitigate the ups and downs,” said Bailey.