3 Tips For Surviving A Hiring Freeze As A Recruiter  

(Written with a little help from AI)

Hey Everyone,

Melissa Varischetti here, owner of FindAJobPA.com

You may remember from last month’s AI-assisted blog post that it was a “part 1”, and this month we’re writing part 2 – how to survive a hiring freeze as a recruiter. While a hiring freeze is always an uncertain time, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to approach it. As an HR professional with over a decade of experience in the field, I’ll share a few of my tips for working through a hiring freeze, but as always you can feel free to share your own tips as an industry insider. My inbox is always open – [email protected]

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. 

Just like last month, I wrote this month’s post with a little help from OpenAI’s ChatGPT software. And similar to last month, I’ll bold the contributions from AI that way there’s no confusion around who wrote what. 

So, let’s begin.

As a recruiter, facing a hiring freeze can be a challenging and stressful experience. Whether it’s due to budget cuts or restructuring, the reality is that you have limited resources to work with. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still be effective and successful in your role. In fact, as you successfully navigate a hiring freeze, it can actually make you a better recruiter as you identify candidates, and also a more effective internal partner to your hiring managers and other company stakeholders. In this blog post, we’ll explore three tips to survive a hiring freeze as a recruiter.

Build Relationships with Hiring Managers

During a hiring freeze, it’s important to build strong relationships with hiring managers. These relationships can help you stay informed about any changes in the hiring freeze or potential new opportunities. Make sure to communicate with them regularly, providing updates on the candidates you’ve already sourced, and being open to feedback. 

Chances are, the hiring managers didn’t make the freeze decision on their own. There are probably other internal and external factors influencing their decision, whether they’re at liberty to share with you or not. By keeping the lines of communication open, you’re better positioned to showcase your best candidates, and make a compelling hiring case once the freeze lifts. 

Focus on Passive Candidates

When there’s a hiring freeze, it’s likely that many of the best candidates are already employed. This is why it’s essential to focus your efforts on passive candidates. These individuals aren’t actively looking for new opportunities, but they may be open to hearing about them.

Start by identifying candidates with the skills and experience that match the open positions. Reach out to them via email, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms, and provide them with a brief overview of the company, the position, and why you believe they’d be a great fit. FindAJobPA.com is a great place to start as we have thousands of job-seekers all across Pennsylvania in our network, and our social media posts reach both active and passive job-seekers every day. 

By focusing on passive candidates, you’ll be able to build a pipeline of high-quality talent, even during a hiring freeze. This way, when the freeze is lifted, you’ll be able to move quickly to fill the open positions.

Passive candidates, while often easy to ignore, are actually the backbone of any successful recruiter’s strategy. Because they’re not “chomping at the bit” looking for a new opportunity as soon as possible, you can nurture the relationship and gauge what the best opportunities are for them down the road. This also gives you a good view into who your recruiting efforts are reaching and if they align with your objectives. Fine-tuning your recruiting methods during a hiring freeze will make you that much more effective once the freeze lifts. 

Keep Learning and Growing

Finally, during a hiring freeze, it’s important to keep learning and growing as a recruiter. Attend webinars, read industry blogs, and join professional associations to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in the industry. It’s also a great time to get caught up on industry courses and professional skills – for example, consider a free course from the Google Academy or Khan Academy to make yourself more marketable. And you never know – maybe you’ll find your next professional opportunity from a connection at a trade show or conference. Don’t forget you’re also likely to be a job-seeker at some point! Keep that resume up-to-date! 

You can also use this time to hone your skills and improve your processes. Consider conducting mock interviews with colleagues to improve your interviewing skills, or conduct a thorough analysis of your sourcing and recruitment strategies to identify areas for improvement. I would also recommend you apply to one of your posted jobs and see what the process is like. Is your email drip too wordy? Do you have too many required fields on the initial intake form? Does it feel like your resume went into a black hole after submitting it? Again, many times downtime is a great time to optimize your toolbox and make sure your skills are fresh and your tech is equally great. 

By continuing to learn and grow as a recruiter, you’ll be well-positioned to succeed when the hiring freeze is lifted. 

In conclusion, a hiring freeze can be a challenging time for recruiters, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t still be successful. By building relationships with hiring managers, focusing on passive candidates, and continuing to learn and grow, you’ll be able to thrive, even during difficult times.

Remember – there is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel, and even what feels like a never-ending hiring freeze will eventually end, and if you take that downtime and make yourself and your processes better, it will pay back in spades once the recruiting funnel is turned back on. 

Well that’s all for now – as always, I’m open to your feedback! Feel free to leave a comment on this post, or drop us a line on social media. 

Until next time,