How Recruiters Should Spend Their Time During a Hiring Freeze

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What do you do if you are a recruiter and your company is on a hiring freeze? How do you spend your time? While it’s tempting to hang out and watch Nextflix all day, there are many ways you could be improving your process. When the hiring freeze is over, the hiring managers will have all kinds of positions that they want to fill. However, you may potentially have fewer resources than before.

We reached out to several clients and partners to get their thoughts and suggestions on what they did during the 2008 recession and how they’ve been spending their time over the last few weeks. Keep reading to find out what advice they gave. 

Build Candidate Relationships

With a halted economy, lower commuting, and reduced watercooler activity, people suddenly find themselves with a lot more time on their hands. Now is a great time to start building professional relationships with potential candidates. Since there’s less urgency, you can take a softer approach and focus on the relationships that will develop your talent pool. What are their career goals, what gets them excited, and what does that perfect next role look like?

Test new channels and technologies to engage candidates. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of innovation, and now is a great time to explore new options. For example, you may want to try out’s AI sourcing software to help you connect with all kinds of new candidates.

Build Relationships

Spend some time with the hires you made over the last twelve months. Ask them what they love about their job, how their day-to-day activities are, and what exciting projects they’re working on. What do they think about your employer brand ? This is an excellent context to use with future candidates in the employment market. In addition, get some feedback on their experience going through your hiring process. Where are there gaps or areas to improve?

Strengthen relationships with your hiring manager and other HR professionals. Recruiting is a team sport, and teams work better when relationships are strong. Schedule a Zoom virtual coffee and get to know them better. Dig in to get an honest assessment of the pre-freeze recruiting process. Learn more about how they envision the team’s future and what skill sets and experiences will be valuable in a post-COVID-19 world.

Audit your Past Performance

Take some time to review your overall recruiting process, and a great place to start is with the metrics. Key metrics like candidates per hire, time to fill, and conversion rates for each step in the recruiting process. Identify where you see the most significant drop and define two to three things to test in hopes of improving that conversion rate once the recruiting engine is up and running again.

Look at your time allocation. Where have you been spending the most time, and how can you become more efficient? Explore technologies and process improvement strategies to help make you more productive, successful, and valuable to the organization. 

Get a Head Start on Planning

Do you have a recruiting focus or plan for when the hiring freeze is over? Will your hiring manager want to follow the previous hiring plan, or will they prioritize specific vital roles? It’s essential to have this ongoing dialogue to plan accordingly and not get caught flat-footed when things pick up.

Related to the first point, make sure you have a line of sight on the resources available to your HR team to support the future hiring plan. Do you have enough headcount to cover, or will you need to rely on external agencies or technology? 

Self Improvement

Carve out some time to work on your craft and improve your hiring skills. Revisit your favorite books and blog posts. Learn something new. A few recommendations from our clients: WhoInfluence: The Psychology of Persuasion, and The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind.

There are many similarities between actively recruiting and marketing/sales. Spend some time learning about the latest strategies and tactics related to growth marketing and sales strategies. Look for areas of inspiration and approaches that you can apply to your recruiting process.

Take the opportunity to pause your hiring efforts and focus your energy on having a better work-life balance. This will ensure that you’re prepared when the job market picks up and the hiring freeze is lifted.

Learn More About How to Improve During Hiring Freezes

As you can see, there is no shortage of productive ways to spend your time during the company’s hiring freeze. It’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on your current recruitment process, build and strengthen important relationships, and focus on improving yourself and your process. 

If you’re not sure if you have enough resources for when your hiring freeze is lifted, is here to help.

We have the solutions you need, whether it’s extra recruiters, job posting capabilities, or sourcing software. Contact us today to find out which one is the best fit for your company.


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