Recruiting Tips

What is a Hiring Freeze? 7 Smart Things That a Recruiter Must Do During One

Firstly, stop panicking.

So, your client(s) have declared a hiring freeze. This might happen to you now more than ever, as the coronavirus pandemic has led to more than one-third of companies across the globe freezing new hires.

Before you panic again, let’s break down what a hiring freeze is and what it means for a recruiter. Typically a hiring freeze is implemented by a client company during an economic downturn. This downturn can be due to financial reasons or when companies decide to reevaluate their operational costs.

A hiring freeze is significant for a company in terms of understanding where they lie in their business, slowing down their expenditures, and assessing which parts of the business are fundamental.

For a recruiter, it would mean canceling all open roles and putting a stop to evaluating or accepting new applications for the time being for that specific client company. The next thing you need to do would be to reach out to the candidates you were evaluating for your client’s open roles and inform them what is happening.

How Will a Hiring Freeze Affect an Agency Recruiter’s Day-To-Day Responsibilities?

It’ll generally put a hold on the following activities for the client who has frozen new hires—

  • Sourcing
  • Screening
  • Interviewing, and
  • Hiring

A recruiter’s day-to-day life is usually pretty packed up with loads of calls and emails. In addition, they are used to a fast-paced working lifestyle that includes dividing their time among these activities.

They shall receive a breather from their fast-paced working lifestyle during a hiring freeze, but that doesn’t mean they have absolutely nothing to work on.

The good news is that there are plenty of creative projects to take up and effectively make use of this time to benefit your recruitment agency and your client companies.

Read more: 6 ways by which recruiters can combat an economic crisis?

7 Interesting Things Recruiters Can Do During a Hiring Freeze

To keep your productivity and team morale high, here are certain things that you should do during a hiring freeze.

what is a hiring freeze

1. It’s Time To Keep Your Client & Candidate Pipeline Warm

During such a time, it’s essential to keep your existing prospects and applicants warm. Even if you realise that you’re on the verge of losing clients, it’s important not to give up and keep nurturing them.

Do not end up ghosting people in your temporarily closed candidate pipeline.

This is the time to keep your communication channels open so that you can interact with your candidates and let them know what to expect next. Reach out to newer clients or older prospects in your pipeline.

Being an agency recruiter, you are not working with a single client but multiple clients at once. This is the time to prioritise your tasks and take out time to form newer connections. We would suggest doing the following—

  • Leverage the power of LinkedIn to assess your future talent needs and connect with newer clients and candidates.
  • Regularly check on candidates you thought of interviewing for client companies that have announced a hiring freeze.
  • Reach out to candidates and let them know who you are as a recruitment agency. Tell them what they can expect from your clients once they resume hiring and how the particular job will add up to their resume.
  • Develop implementable strategies to grow your search agency from where you are right now to a stage where you’ll be making 2x profits.
  • This is the ideal time for your competitors to poach your top talent. In order to stop this from happening, you’ll need to focus on implementing better talent retention strategies.
  • You can also redeploy talent during a hiring freeze. This involves moving talent from one role to another to mitigate your client company layoffs.

2. Work on Your Employer Brand

Your employer brand is what will make or break your recruitment agency. Ideally, your employer brand should showcase your company ethics, culture and values. The more you work on it, the better results you’re going to draw.

In fact, 86% of women and 67% of men in the United States wouldn’t join a company that has a bad reputation. This makes your employer brand genuinely significant.

Your employer brand will determine whether candidates would end up trusting your recruitment agency or not. For instance, Starbucks has created separate Twitter & Instagram accounts specifically for job seekers.

The company shows its gratitude and praise for current employees and communicates with future ones. Their hashtag #sbuxjobschat allows potential hires to interact with each other.

Here are some ideas for you–

  • Congratulate and praise your agency recruiters on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
  • Regularly share updates on your social media handles about your workspace. Encourage your employees to share about their day-to-day work life on their respective social media handles
  • Ask your current employees to engage with each other on social media platforms and talk about your organisational culture
  • Serve the right content to the right people

3. Upgrade Your Current Recruitment Software

When was the last time you checked on your recruitment software? Is your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) really effective? Does your Recruitment CRM have all the right features?

If you feel that your current ATS and CRM software is outdated, it’s time to upgrade it for maximum performance once hiring resumes. Here’s how Recruit CRM can come to your rescue—

  • We offer a powerful resume parser that lets recruiters parse up to 100 CVs at one go. (Here’s another resume parser that can be of help).
  • You can get direct feedback from clients using our CRM software.
  • We’ve made collaboration and communication more effortless than ever.
  • Our robust data and analytics and customisable sales dashboards let you take care of both your recruitment metrics and your recruitment business.

Sign up for a free trial or explore our pricing options here.

Read more: How to choose the best recruiting software for your agency?

4. Create Candidate & Client-Focused Content

Starting from ready-to-use sample email templates to job advertisements, resume writing tips, how to nail job interviews and so on, start creating and sharing actionable content with your candidate pipeline that’s on freeze.

Even the most trivial content during this time will impact a candidate’s life. So, seize the opportunity.

Today, content marketing is taking the world by storm, and there’s no such company or client who don’t create or consume content. So sit with your team members and create whitepapers, case studies, ebooks and other downloadable PDFs.

Share such valuable content with everyone and encourage them to promote it online.

5. Re-Innovate Your Hiring Process

hiring freeze

If your recruitment agency ends up having quite a large number of clients going through hiring freezes, utilise the free time to reinvent your hiring process. Deep dive into your recruitment metrics and figure out where you’re lacking and the areas that you need to work on. You can figure this out quickly from the data and analytics dashboard of your Applicant Tracking System. Look into the following—

  • Cost per hire
  • Hiring time
  • Job offer acceptance rates
  • Source of hire

Analyse the bottlenecks and issues after tapping into the above data. Once you identify which area you need to work on, appoint supervisors and start acting on them. Focus on creating a boutique hiring process. This can set you apart from your competitors.

Starting from figuring out a unique brand voice, exceptional client and candidate experience, and speed of responses can help you create a structured hiring process.

6. Invest in Yourself

Self-education is one such crucial area where you can invest in during this time. Since you are usually involved in a fast-paced working lifestyle, you hardly learn new hiring processes or train yourself to be better at one hiring aspect.

Read the latest recruiting article, listen to educational recruitment podcasts, watch relevant YouTube videos, subscribe to the best recruiting newsletters (such as Recruit CRM Digest, Hung Lee’s Recruiting Brainfood) and more.

If you’re a recruitment agency Founder, make sure you involve your team in rigorous training. Free up your time slots in between and dedicate them to learning more about sales and recruitment marketing.

Work on your job descriptions, optimise your content using SEO principles for better visibility or master the art of cold calling and emailing.

7. Prepare for the Future

Even though your recruiting processes are at a halt for particular clients, they’ll eventually resume, and your day is going to be as packed as before. Till then, be proactive and make use of the time to prepare for the future.

Once your hiring activities resume, it should start off with a bang!

Stay in touch with your hiring managers and figure out which are the roles you’ll need to hire for as soon as the hiring freeze is over.

Now that you have an idea of the roles you have to hire for, start growing your candidate pipeline. The more time and energy you spend on this early on, the faster you’ll be able to fill these job orders when time comes.

Though a hiring freeze might create confusion at the beginning for any recruitment agency, utilise this opportunity to your best and make it count. Your search agency must focus on giving the best experience to the rest of your clients while figuring out better solutions for companies who have frozen new hires.

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