hiring talent

Is hiring freeze an Effective Tactic?

Hiring freezes have been in the spotlight for a few years now, especially after the world suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, a study found that 27% of companies have instituted a hiring freeze because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, thanks to unexpected shifts in the economy, fluctuating inflation, and talks of recession, hiring freezes do not seem to be going away. Ceasing all recruitment and hiring processes can help a company save money and remain in operation.

In this article, we will explain the hiring freeze meaning and why companies implement them. We will also discuss the best recruiting practices to follow during a hiring freeze.

What is a Hiring Freeze?

When a company decides to cease hiring new employees for open positions, this is referred to as a hiring freeze. In this situation, a firm may continue hiring candidates for crucial roles. It halts all efforts to fill non-essential roles and prevents the creation of new roles. This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as to cut costs, realign the organization’s workforce, or review and update hiring practices.

A hiring freeze strategy can have a significant impact on growth. Also, the operations of a company and is typically implemented as a short-term measure.

Why do Companies opt for Hiring Freeze?

There are a variety of reasons why a company might choose to implement a hiring freeze. Some common reasons include:

Financial Constraints

A company may be experiencing financial difficulties and may need to cut costs to stay afloat. Enforcing a hiring freeze can be a way to reduce expenses by not adding new employees.


A company might be undergoing a restructuring or reorganization and may choose to put a hold on hiring until the new structure is in place.

Budget Planning

When an organization is in the process of preparing its budget for the upcoming year, it may announce a hiring freeze to better understand its financial situation and make more informed hiring decisions.

Reviewing Hiring Practices

A company may choose to implement a hiring freeze to review and update its hiring practices. This could include evaluating the types of positions being filled, the recruitment process, or the criteria used to evaluate candidates.

Overall, a company may implement a hiring freeze period to better align its workforce with its business goals and financial resources.

What Recruiters Can Do During a Hiring Freeze?

During a freeze, recruiters often find themselves wondering how to perform their duties and responsibilities.

What can you do when your hiring responsibilities are limited? How can you continue to provide your company with valuable work?

Here are the top 6 ways HR professionals can make an impact while under a hiring freeze.

Develop Your Talentpool

A hiring freeze announcement is an excellent opportunity to build an effective talent pool. And when the time comes to hire again, you have instant access to qualified candidates. Examine your previous applications and database for people who were previously overlooked but might be re-engaged now to see if they are a better fit or are open to future positions.

Review Your Strategy

The truth is that companies always hire, even if they do not have any open positions. A hiring freeze provides an opportunity to reconsider your employer’s branding approach. Use the extra time to retell your unique story and convince individuals why they should work for you. If done correctly, after the hiring freeze is lifted, you will be able to pull the trigger and choose from a variety of talent.

Redesign Your Application Process

During a hiring freeze, create a better application process and better job descriptions that can be used once the freeze is over. Your application process can make or break the potential applicants who apply for the job, so test it out and make sure it will bring you the kind of people you want. While hiring, you should be able to find the exact candidates you are looking for.

Build Your Networks

Stay visible and engaged by attending professional events and building a professional network. Even if you are not presently employed, you should establish your brand as a future resource. You can also use this “down” period to reassess your marketing materials and recruitment techniques to be even more effective when it comes time to recruit again.

Communicate with Your Hiring Managers

You probably never have time to connect with your hiring managers in a meaningful way. Even though it can help your hiring process to learn more about your hiring managers, their teams, and how they all work together.

A successful recruiting campaign depends on an inclusive job ad and an efficient workflow. During a hiring freeze or slowdown, getting in touch with hiring managers can help with both things. You can inform hiring managers about best recruitment practices, such as using inclusive language in job descriptions, the right length, and clear requirements. You can also help them get rid of cumbersome workflows and other things.

While you are learning about your hiring managers and their teams, you are also making them more efficient. It will help in the future when you give them new jobs. In the long run, this will cut down on the time it takes to fill positions and bring in more qualified, diverse candidates.


Hiring freezes are adopted by companies for a variety of reasons. However, the slower hiring season does not have to be a negative thing for recruiters.

Implementing a hiring freeze may be the best move, not just for the firm but also for future and current employees. It prevents hiring managers from inadvertently hiring employees whose roles may not be available for long. It also may be the necessary decision a leader must make to prevent escalating the situation.

In fact, a hiring freeze can be used to improve the candidate identification process. By taking advantage of technology, reviewing your current process, and getting creative with your sourcing strategy, you can come out of this period stronger than ever before.


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