There is nothing more frustrating to a recruiter than this phrase. It doesn’t matter if you are a human resources representative for a company or a recruitment agency.
A tech hiring freeze is usually the result of efforts to cut down costs and sometimes the impact of recession or scale down of the organization. When recruiting and hiring stops, a company can save money and remain operational.
Now, how can you, as a recruiter, use this time positively?
The following tips will help you make the most out of your company’s hiring freeze, retain and understand employees, improve your hiring process and come up with great ideas for future hires.
Let’s first understand a tech hiring freeze and the reasons for its occurrence.
What is a hiring freeze?
When a company decides to halt hiring for new positions, it is called a hiring freeze. Though the company may continue to hire candidates for essential jobs, it stops all efforts to fill non-essential jobs and prohibits creating new positions.
Tech hiring freezes typically begin with a halt to these actions: sourcingscreening, interviewing, and hiring.
Main reasons behind a hiring freeze
Every business aims to maintain long-term financial viability. Fears of a recession, a pandemic, and supply chain disruptions force companies to halt hiring during difficult market conditions. When these circumstances arise, management may freeze hiring.
Here are some examples of situations where a company might consider a hiring freeze:
1. Uncertain market conditions:
Market volatility and fluctuation can significantly affect revenue generation and profitability.
2. Global crisis:
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every business in some way to a certain extent. These crises have negatively impacted businesses worldwide. Moreover, layoffs and tech hiring freezes were the only way for companies to sustain themselves then.
3. Emerging liquidity concerns:
Companies may postpone recruitment processes if liquid assets decline. Thus, they may opt to deploy funds from the pay budget to finance current assets to increase liquidity.
4. Budget deficit:
When a company anticipates that hiring new employees will lead to a budget deficit, it will postpone hiring new employees until its financial position improves.
Effects of a tech hiring freeze on current employees
A hiring freeze can also be stressful for current employees owing to increased resource utilization to meet the deadlines and workload allocation within the available workforce.
In addition, the workloads of departing employees are distributed among the remaining staff. In turn, this can negatively affect staff productivity, causing more employees to leave the company.
So, during the hiring freeze, if recruiters are not hiring, then what do they do?
Here are some best practices a recruiter (or a company) can use to motivate and retain current employees and smooth future hiring processes.
Things recruiters can do during a hiring freeze
Improve your hiring process for the future
During the hiring freeze, you have plenty of time to look into hiring gaps and plan for better future recruitment. For instance, you can check your existing hiring metrics and data to know what area to focus on to improve the hiring process. You can also review previous recruiting reports and methods provided by your ATS.
You can then conclude,
- how much does hiring for a particular role cost
- what are the best sources/channels to find the right candidate
- what is the job acceptance rate for your company
- why candidates might drop off during an assessment phase
- what does the candidate interview experience look like
This exercise will give you a grasp of what needs to be fixed in your hiring process.
Furthermore, you can discuss key points with managers and team leaders to better understand their current objectives and future goals. This way, you can obtain a preview of the competencies and potential positions your company may require in the future. Also, you can create more crisp and clear job descriptions.
In a nutshell, the more time you spend closing process gaps, the easier it will be to recruit again.
Build your employer’s brand
A strong employer brand always stands out and attracts talent. Amidst a tech hiring freeze, you can focus on building an impactful employer brand. Showcase your company’s work culture, ethics, and perks because it affects the candidate’s decision to join your company.
Furthermore, building an employer brand is not just for hiring new candidates; it is also suitable for existing employees. Employees who feel valued and appreciated will stay with the company for a long time. To improve your employer brand both from an employee’s and a candidate’s perspective, follow these tips:
Employees are your biggest asset, and retaining the best candidates is essential. It is more likely to happen when your employees are happy working for you and feel valued and recognized for their efforts.
You might have already provided your employees with all the perks. But always look to see if there is anything else you can do to increase their productivity at the workplace or improve their mental and physical health.
Moreover, you can keep them engaged in fun activities or sports, take their feedback, or conduct some counseling sessions for employees for better work-life balance or mental health awareness.
Also, employees love it when a company recognizes their hard work and loyalty and rewards them with appraisals, incentives, and bonuses. You can also send them personalized emails and gift cards to keep them motivated.
Before applying or accepting the offer, applicants tend to go through social media, Glassdoor, or Google reviews to learn more about the company’s culture.
It means you can leverage the power of social media to showcase your company’s culture and the working lives of your current employees, for example,
- Appreciate your current employees on LinkedIn, tag them, and rework your career pages.
- Work on Glassdoor and google reviews of your company. You can’t stop negative reviews on these platforms, but you can humbly reply.
- Show behind the scenes of your office, celebrating birthdays, festivals, etc.
- Take feedback from your current employees, ask about their experience in your company, make a video, and share it on social media.
- Always check the tonality of your social media posts. It should be gender-neutral and easy to understand.
Companies that embrace and practice diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are more likely to outperform their competitors in terms of profitability and value creation.
You can also make a plan for reverting or giving feedback to each applicant applying for a job opening at your company.
Note: Do not ghost any applicant when you reject any candidate. It can create a bad image for your organization.
Build Candidate Relationships
A tech hiring freeze is the best time to expand your candidate pools with skilled candidates. Use this downtime to nurture relationships with passive candidates via social recruiting.
Take advantage of recruiting tools. These tools help you connect with freshers and professionals and build relationships that will come in handy for future hiring. Keep your talent pipelines warm by sending them regular company updates, content that showcases your company culture, relevant articles, and webinars that may interest your prospective candidates.
When the time comes to hire again, you wouldn’t have to start from scratch! You have your trusty candidate pool to fall back on.
Brush up on your recruiting skills
Although HR teams are constantly busy, a hiring freeze gives the recruitment team time to update their skills.
The organization’s human resources department can enhance the whole company’s performance. As a result, in the HR position, you must always keep abreast of new industry regulations, technological advancements, and other human resource management techniques.
Moreover, many HR training programs are available over the internet, like HackerEarth’s Learning and Development for HR, so you can better utilize your time to understand the HR ecosystem.
Also, read: Spend A Day With A Tech Recruiter
We’ve gone one step further and reached out to our Senior TA, Shalini Chandra to spill the beans on how to navigate this hiring freeze and become a better recruiter. Watch the video to get tips straight from the horse’s mouth!
FAQs related to hiring freeze
How to keep candidates engaged during a hiring freeze?
- Stay in touch with candidates; provide timely responses to any emails
- Share company updates and other relevant information like PR releases, blogs, and podcasts to keep candidates interested
- Work on establishing an employer brand
How long does a hiring freeze usually last?
Depending on the reason, a hiring freeze usually lasts for 3-6 months but can last up to weeks, months, or years.
What are the advantages of a tech hiring freeze?
- A hiring freeze reduces hiring costs; reducing these expenses can result in the return of financial stability.
- Hiring freezes allow management to condense staff and reorganize workgroups to produce necessary products and services for consumers more efficiently.
- It also strengthens teamwork and allows the company to review its growth plans and operational procedures.
A tech hiring freeze gives the organization and recruitment team time to focus on other essential things and prepare for future hiring. Use the methods mentioned above during the hiring freeze to rework the overall hiring process, increase the productivity of current employees, and retain employees. This time can be fruitful for organizations if used correctly.