Managing Hiring Freezes

During periods of economic and financial uncertainty, companies often enact hiring freezes to control costs. While hiring freezes make sense on paper, they can, unfortunately, harm core staff. When workloads increase and there is no way to hire additional people, the existing team can experience excessive stress and burnout, making them less productive and more prone to mistakes. That stress can often culminate in resignations, putting further strain on the group.

If your business has imposed a freeze on hiring new staff, use these strategies to overcome the ensuing challenges.

Don't Lose Touch With Candidates in the Pipeline

When hiring freezes are enacted, it leaves candidates in limbo. They may have been in the first stages of the interview process, or they could have been anticipating a job offer. It is crucial to communicate the situation to every candidate left hanging, no matter which stage they were in.

Those candidates will likely not be thrilled to hear the news, but they will be grateful that your company was honest and transparent. Invite them to stay connected to the company via LinkedIn, and when the hiring freeze lifts, get back in touch with candidates. Let them know if the job they applied for is still open, ask if they are still interested and get them looped back into the pipeline.

Optimize Your Existing Team

Without the ability to hire new talent, you must rely on your core team more than ever. If you've hired well, you have built a group of people with both job-specific and soft skills that make them adaptable in challenging situations. That means you have a full bench of people who can step up and tackle challenging situations like hiring freezes.

Assess the gaps that you'd typically address by hiring a new person. Then, work closely with managers and leaders to identify individuals who can be assigned specific new tasks and responsibilities. You may find you have to shuffle existing work around rather than simply assigning new tasks, but when you optimize your staff by assigning tasks and work based on strengths, this legwork will pay dividends. You can ensure that all projects remain on target without incurring extra costs.

Leverage Skilled Temporary Staff

Even if you optimize your staff effectively, you may still face challenges with workload and workflow during a hiring freeze. This is where temporary and contract professionals can make all the difference.

When you hire temporary and contract professionals, you can pay for them out of project budgets, which gets you around salary and hiring freezes. If paying for temporary workers cannot come out of the project budget, a skilled staffing partner can help you work with HR and company leadership to classify employees properly to work within any restrictions you may face.

Choosing the right staffing partner is the key to making this option work for your company. You want to find a company that is an expert in your industry and the positions you need to fill. Talk to the staffing company about how they source, vet and verify talent, as well. Remember, just because someone is working temporary jobs doesn't mean they are less skilled or qualified than full-time candidates. Many talented people choose to work temporary jobs because it provides them with flexibility. During tough economic times, highly skilled people who have been laid off have chosen temporary work to fill the gaps until they find a new full-time role. When you work with the right staffing partner, your temporary and contract employees can be just as valuable as your core staff.

Is Your Company Navigating a Hiring Freeze?

When your company is experiencing financial strain, it's easy to lose hope, but it is important to remember that tough times are always temporary. The way you plan and strategize during tough times will directly impact your company's ability to emerge with strength.

Talk to a staffing expert today to learn how temporary and contract staff can help you successfully navigate a hiring freeze at your organization.