TESA’s Quick Tips: Navigating a Hiring Freeze

So, your company has declared a hiring freeze! What to do if you are in positions such as director of a department like sales, service, or marketing? Or a hiring manager whose performance goals depend on hitting individual growth targets? As a firm in touch with hiring decision-makers of all levels throughout North America, we’ve collected best practices to navigate this dilemma and plan for success on the other side.

Communicating with upper management:

  • Try to understand the short and long-term impact of whatever situation influenced this decision on your company, not just your personal goals. This navigation is a difficult task for sure, but going beyond how the lack of hiring will affect only you and your department, look at how much the situation will impact the revenue and financial stability of the entire organization. Communication with upper management is vital and critical. If this will not likely be a long-term hit to the whole company, you can argue to keep interviewing. Otherwise, you may swim upstream if you lobby upper management about your requisition.
  • Let’s be optimistic and assume you got past #1. You can now focus on what to do with your requisitions without coming off as someone who cares more about personal goals than those of the entire organization. Depending on how many openings you have, you need to prioritize the one(s) you want to lobby for to keep open. Don’t be greedy.
  • Sell the value of keeping the interviewing process going vs. the cost of letting it go. Hiring freezes usually mean you cannot hire; typically, it does not mean interviewing is off-limits.
  • Isolate the issue. Is it on hold because the business is not there or for another reason?
  • Remain optimistic, and keep the momentum going.

Options to keep the momentum going:

  • Put all efforts into the most critical positions
  • Communicate to your recruiting partner to continue dialogue and solicitation of “A-Players.”
  • Continue the conversation with the talent pool via phone and video
  • Set specific check-in dates to update each other
  • Discuss the feasibility of virtual onboarding with HR
  • Discuss the progress with upper management and HR.
  • Set up these meetings but manage everyone’s expectations, under-promise if uncertain.