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What is a Hiring Freeze? A Few Smart Things Recruiters Must Do During One

Oh no! Did your client declare a hiring freeze?

Well, before you start panicking, 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.

While it is significant for employers, for recruiters, it might be a frightening situation.

So, sit tight and read on to find out what you can do to overcome this freeze.

Hiring Freeze: What Does it Mean?

A hiring freeze is a temporary situation where your clients may stop hiring new employees in an effort to cut down costs.

The employer’s company initiates it to asses where it lies in its market, slow down its expenditures, and evaluate 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.

But that does not mean that your talent acquisition activities will pause completely.

All you have to do is understand how it impacts your recruitment business and the productive things you can do instead.

Hiring freezes usually begin with putting a hold on these activities for the client who has frozen new hires.

  • Sourcing
  • Screening
  • Interviewing, and
  • Hiring

Now, it’s obvious that during a hiring freeze, you receive a breather from your fast-paced working lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you 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 clients.

Hiring Freeze

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.

1. Keep Your Client & Candidate Pipeline Warm

Well, if you don’t have to look for new talent, it’s essential to keep your existing prospects and job applicants warm.

In simpler words, you have to maintain your client and candidate relationships.

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.

You can also reach out to newer clients or nurture the older ones.

We would suggest you do 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 job seekers 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 value 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 re-deploy talent during a hiring freeze. This involves moving candidates from one role to another to mitigate your client company layoffs.

2. Work on Employer Branding

brand awareness

Your employer brand is what will make or break your recruitment firm.

Ideally, your employer brand should showcase the company’s 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 will end up trusting you or not.

Here are some recruitment marketing and branding 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 in their social network.
  • Ask your current employees to engage with each other on social media platforms and talk about your organizational 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 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—

  • It empowers agency recruiters to perform seamless candidate sourcing using its chrome sourcing extension compatible with 30+ Chromium-based browsers.
  • We offer a powerful resume parser that lets recruiters parse up to 100 CVs at one go!
  • You will be provided with 24/7 live customer support that will help you setup your system in 5 minutes and attend to your queries in under 2 minutes.
  • We’ve made collaboration and communication more effortless than ever.
  • Our robust data and analytics and customizable dashboards let you take care of both your team KPIs and your sales pipeline.

4. Create Candidate & Client-Focused Content

Starting from ready-to-use email templates to compelling job advertisements, start creating and sharing actionable content with your candidate pool that’s on freeze.

Even the most trivial content during this time will impact a job seeker’s life.

Today, content marketing is taking the world by storm, and there’s no company or client that doesn’t create or consume content.

So sit with your team members and create whitepapers, case studies, ebooks, and other downloadable PDFs.

Hiring Freeze

5. Re-Innovate Your Hiring Process

If your recruitment agency ends up having quite a large number of clients going through hiring freezes, utilize 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

Analyze 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 during this time.

It’s time you learn new hiring lessons or train yourself to be better at your job.

Read recruitment blogs, listen to educational recruitment podcasts, watch relevant YouTube videos, subscribe to trending and informative newsletters, etc., to upskill better.

If you’re a leader at your agency, make sure you involve your team in rigorous training.

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

7. Prepare for the Future

Even though the hiring process is at a halt for some 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 and start hiring 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.

The more time and energy you spend on this early on, the faster you’ll be able to fill these job orders when the time comes.

Though a hiring freeze might create confusion at the beginning for any staffing firm, utilize this opportunity to your best and make it count.

You must focus on giving the best possible experience to the rest of your clients, all while figuring out better solutions for companies that have frozen new hires.

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