How To Handle A Hiring Freeze

Dotting headlines across social media and news outlets, the hiring freeze conversation doesn’t seem to be going away. Thanks, in large part, to fluctuating inflation, unknowns in consumer spending, and talks of recession, many organizations are facing difficult decisions about hiring and headcount. 

As of August, a survey conducted by Fiverr found that 85% of US businesses polled had plans to implement hiring freezes during the current economic downturn. As we’ve watched this statistic come to fruition over the past few months, it left many confused and unsure about the current state of the job market

If you are one of the 85% of organizations that has or expects to freeze hiring, Celarity is here to help. We’ve rounded up the steps you can take to ensure that your employees and job candidates feel supported during this difficult time.

Tip #1: Start An Open Conversation

While sharing the news about a hiring freeze with your team may leave you feeling worried or stressed, the way that you communicate with your team will have lasting impacts. To feel more at ease sharing news about a hiring freeze, we recommend the following steps:

  • Be honest. It’s okay if you don’t know all of the answers, but sharing any information that you do have will build trust and understanding amongst the team.
  • Allow your team to ask questions so that you can reduce uncertainty and clear up any potential misconceptions.
  • Use empathy and understanding when delivering the news. It’s essential to make your employees feel as comfortable and valued as possible.

Overall, the most important thing you can do is to be an open support system for your team and to show them that you have their best interests in mind.

Tip #2: Prioritize Workloads

Once you’ve talked to your team about the hiring freeze, the next step is to begin prioritizing your goals and redistributing tasks to manage workloads. This will help employees avoid feeling burnout or overwhelmed. Our top tips include the following:

  • Audit your strategies and plans. Look into your projected outcomes and determine if any pieces could be saved for a later date or reworked so that your team can focus on the most important tasks at hand.
  • Tap into the content that you already have prepared. It’s okay to reuse materials or promotions to provide your team with the time needed to focus on the priorities.
  • Ensure that your employees feel supported and genuinely listen to their concerns.

According to a recent study, burnout is the number one reason employees in the U.S. leave their jobs, with approximately 40% of workers have left their jobs for this exact reason. This highlights the importance of keeping your employees happy and supported throughout a hiring freeze because the last thing you want is for your employees to feel burnt out and look elsewhere for employment during this time!

Tip #3: Keep Candidates In The Loop through a Hiring Freeze

The final step we recommend is to keep your candidates in the loop! If you had an open spot on your team before the hiring freeze, it’s important to continue communicating with any candidates that were part of the interviewing process.

Here are the most important tips that our Client Experience Director, Kelly Gunderson, recommends for organizations to keep candidates in the loop. 

  • Explain to candidates how normal hiring freezes are. Provide insight on the various reasons that freezes can happen, how long you expect the freeze to last, and any direct impacts that the freeze has on the team.
  • Keep in touch weekly. Share updates and let candidates know you are interested in continuing the hiring conversation once the hiring freeze has ended.
  • Send candidates handwritten notes. Thank candidates for their time thus far, and share your excitement for their skillset and experiences.

A silver lining of a hiring freeze is having the opportunity to build sustainable relationships with candidates. How you handle the hiring freeze will show candidates the type of leader that you are and that you want to continue making great impressions.

Utilizing Freelance Talent

The good news for hiring managers and job seekers experiencing a hiring freeze is that many organizations still hire freelancers or consultants to support teams. According to Fiverr, around 81% of survey respondents indicated that they already used freelance talent to support operations, with 43% indicating they planned to hire freelancers to fill skills gaps.

Interested in learning more about freelance talent? With over 5,000 consultants placed at over 600 organizations, Celarity can help! Reach out to us today to start the conversation.

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