A NACE poll* found that 27% of companies have instituted a hiring freeze as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. During a freeze, recruiters and other HR professionals often find themselves wondering how to go about their responsibilities.
What can you do when your hiring responsibilities are limited? How can you still contribute meaningful work to your organization?
Here, seven professionals share their insights about how to make an impact while under a hiring freeze.
Revisit your strategy
The reality is that companies are always hiring, whether they have vacancies or not. A hiring freeze is an opportunity to revisit your employer branding strategy. Use the additional time to revisit your unique story and tell people why they would want to work for you. If done well, once the hiring freeze is over, you will be able to pull the trigger and have a “smorgasbord” of talent to choose from.
– Philip Botha, Culture Advantage
Redesign your application process
During a hiring freeze, create a smoother application process with better job descriptions to implement once the hiring freeze is over. Your application process can make or break the candidates that apply to the role, so test this experience and make sure the process will provide you with exactly the kind of candidate you are looking for. When hiring resumes, you should be able to find the exact candidates you are looking for better than ever before!
– Jon Schneider, Recruiterie
Build and maintain your networks
Stay visible and connected through your professional networks and professional events. Even if you're not currently hiring, you want to build your brand as a resource for the future. You can also use this "down" time to reevaluate your marketing materials and recruitment strategies so you will be even more effective when you can recruit again.
– Colleen McManus, Senior Consultant
One of the best ways to make an impact during a hiring freeze is to answer questions. Has a recent college graduate asked you for advice or for information about your company? Answer their questions! Not only are you helping people boost their skillset or soothing anxieties, but you are improving the image of your company by helping others in times of need. Who knows, maybe you’ll find the perfect candidate this way for when the hiring freeze is lifted.
– Denise Gredler, Best Companies Arizona
Evaluate your tools
I would evaluate the hiring tools that are irrelevant during the freeze and stop using them. This would not only cut costs but will also ensure that you remain with the sharpest tools that can work in both frozen and non-frozen times. I would also optimize the remaining tools to work even better under the tough times of hiring freezes. This would make them even more efficient once the freeze is over.
– James Jason, Mitrade
Direct efforts elsewhere
Our organization went on a 30-day hiring freeze. During this time, our recruiting department focused on communication through social media as well as supporting other functions in the company. We also used this time to focus on projects that had been on the back burner, such as optimizing our job descriptions for SEO and refreshing our talent brand marketing.
– Steven Brown, DP Electric Inc
Plan for the future
Forward planning is definitely key. Use this time to assess your company's hiring process. Where can you make improvements ready for when the recovery hits? What tools should you be using and what ones should you be getting rid of?
– Lee Biggins, Resume-Library