3 Tips For Surviving A Hiring Freeze As A Job-Seeker  

(Written with a little help from AI)

Hey Everyone,

Melissa Varischetti here, owner of FindAJobPA.com

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and I was reminded of my new best friend as I sat down to write this blog post – OpenAI’s wildly popular “ChatGPT” chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to synthesize tons of information into understandable and digestible content. Now, it’s certainly not perfect, and there’s lots it doesn’t know, but it definitely does a great job at least generating a content outline that I can use to “fill in the gaps” and give all y’all reading a really steller blog post. 

So, without further ado, let’s dive into this month’s blog post, which is all about hiring freezes.

What’s A Hiring Freeze?

What with all the talk recently about a potential recession and an economy that’s “cooling down”, it’s likely many of you are currently involved with some kind of hiring freeze. A hiring freeze is just what it sounds like – employers pause filling new positions, usually for a short period of time, since the costs of onboarding and recruiting outweigh the potential benefits of a new hire, for whatever reason. In our February blog post, I’ll share 3 tips for surviving a hiring freeze as a job-seeker, and then in our March blog post, I’ll share 3 tips for making the most of a hiring freeze as a recruiter. So stay tuned after this post for Part 2, coming March 2023!

And if it wasn’t obvious from earlier in the post, I wrote this blog post with help from OpenAI’s ChatGPT software. I like to think the AI put up the frame but I built the rest of the house and added furniture – and together, we built a wonderful house! And to give you some insight into my creative process, I’ll go ahead and bold everything I got from ChatGPT in the rest of the post. 

3 tips for surviving a hiring freeze as a job-seeker: 

Keep networking: 

Even if a company isn’t actively hiring, building relationships and connections with professionals in your field can lead to future job opportunities. Attend virtual events, join professional groups on social media, and reach out to former colleagues to stay in touch. 

This is so important as a job-seeker, regardless of whether you’re currently on the receiving end of a hiring freeze or just looking to build your career skill set in general. You never know who in your network will be the key to a new opportunity, or the difference between your resume ending up in the “read” pile on a recruiter’s desk and ending up in the “circular file” under the desk. Especially as we’re continuing to come out of a few years of the pandemic, our virtual events have come a long way and many companies are continuing to use tools like Zoom to develop innovative virtual networking and “day in the life” events for prospective job-seekers and industry professionals. Tools like LinkedIn are especially valuable to help stay connected and see new opportunities as they arise. 

Develop new skills: 

Use the downtime to learn new skills that can make you more valuable to employers. Take online courses, attend webinars, and read industry publications to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies.

Especially if you are currently stuck in a hiring freeze, and find yourself with extra downtime, I cannot stress enough how important this point is. There are so many wonderful learning opportunities out there – from Khan Academy (not just for high school math! They’ve got LSAT and MCAT prep courses along with tons of content around coding and other STEM fields), LinkedIn Learning, and Google Academy, there is no lack of free or low-cost training to help grow in your current career path, or even pivot to something completely new and exciting! 

Be patient and flexible: 

Hiring freezes are often temporary, so be prepared to wait for the right opportunity to come along. Also, be open to temporary or contract positions that may eventually turn into full-time roles. Finally, consider expanding your job search to include companies in other industries that may be hiring.

This final point, like the other two, is really applicable no matter what you’re going through. Patience and flexibility, especially as a job-seeker, are your two best friends. Especially with contract work, as I wrote a few Christmases ago on this very blog post, “you want to make the best possible impression on your temporary employer, with the goal of them offering you a full-time (or at least part-time) permanent position after the initial contract period.” 

Sometimes, you just need a job to pay the bills. There’s no shame in working in an industry outside your comfort zone to make ends meet. Plus, as you’ve been reading, you never know who you’ll bump into in that new opportunity that could be the ticket to your next permanent opportunity! 

Well, that’s about it for February’s blog post. I hope these 3 tips were helpful for you as you’re going through a tough time. Are there any things you’d add? Any tips you’ve found helpful? Let me know with a quick comment on this post or on social media. 

And don’t forget to stop by on March 15th to learn 3 tips for recruiters dealing with implementing and navigating a hiring freeze!

Until next time,