There's a company wide hiring freeze—now what?

Payroll is one of the biggest expenses for a company, and when an economic downturn hits, many companies freeze hiring to save money. This might be a pause in creating new roles or a even a halt in hiring for open roles.

When recruitment is at a standstill, what does it mean for recruiters?

recruitment during a hiring freeze

Here are seven ways to elevate your recruitment process when you bounce back from a hiring freeze: 

1. Work on your employer brand

It is easier to attract great talent when you have a well-positioned employer brand. Recruiters can use this time to recognize employees, revisit the career page, improve the company's presence on social media, and take other actions that further establish your employer brand. This can make a huge difference now, as it is important to ensure that the news of a hiring freeze does not reflect negatively on the company.

2. Delve deep into data

You need data in bulk to derive meaningful insights. If you have been consistently gathering important data throughout your recruitment process, now is the time to use it to find patterns and inefficiencies, and start bettering your recruitment process.

3. Update important content 

Something that is extremely valuable and people seldom find time for is content. There isn't a better time for you to update your training manuals, hiring documents, and onboarding guides.

4. Forecast future openings

Hiring freezes aren't forever. When your company is ready to hire again, the resource requirements are going to be more than normal. It is important to forecast and plan for future openings. Take this time to take an in-depth look at existing roles and how they align with the overall goals of the company.

Rehiring after a hiring freeze

It is also a great time to build the persona of your ideal candidate. Choose top performing employees and identify what makes them good at their job. Find out what makes them a perfect fit for your company and create benchmarks for assessing potential candidates.

5. Invest in your current workforce's growth

This is a great time to identify skill gaps and figure out ways to rectify them. Give your employees plenty of opportunities to upskill, and help them step up from their current roles. It is important for you to be invested in your employees' career growth so they can see a bigger future with your company.

6. Continue to grow your talent pool

What could be better than having a pool of vetted candidates to reach out to when you are ready to hire again? Even if your company is not hiring at the moment, you can still continue to source, attract, and evaluate candidates and add them to your pipeline. Remember that when you do this, you need to nurture your candidates consistently and let them know what to expect.

7. Build a recruitment automation game plan

Introducing automation into your recruitment process is going to save so much of your recruiter's time to focus on the more valued tasks that only they can do. However, setting up a process initially takes a significant amount of time and effort, and there is no better time to get it started so that when the hiring freeze lifts, you can be more vigilant with meeting your resource requirements.

automation with Zoho Recruit

 Achieve end-to-end automation with Zoho Recruit  

  • Use our templates to create job posts and customize them to your requirements.

  • Post jobs within a matter of seconds with the click of a button to all your favorite job boards, and share them on social media.

  • Automatically parse resumes, add them as candidate records, and associate added candidates with job openings using Job Mailbox.

  • Send automated email confirmations to candidates after receiving their application.

  • Automatically assign candidates to specific recruiters based on your organizational structure.

  • Generate a match score for your candidates by comparing their skill sets and the job's requirements with Zia. 

  • Automatically send assessments to candidates who are associated with a specific job opening.

  • Assess candidates by creating your own assessments with Zoho Recruit, or simply use the extensive templates from our leading third party vendors.

  • Automate acceptance or reject emails based on the candidate's assessment score.

  • Design and implement approval processes for job openings and candidates. 

  • Schedule interviews and automate confirmation emails.

  • Generate offer letters and get them signed digitally, and change your candidate's status to hired once the offer is signed.


While hiring might be the ultimate goal for recruiters, there are multiple smaller steps that lead to it. This is the best time for recruiters to work on long term recruitment goals, optimize your existing recruitment process, or even test run it to judge its efficiency. More importantly, continue to show up and nurture relationships with potential candidates so that they remember your brand.  

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