How to keep your Pipeline Warm During a Hiring Freeze

Companies benefit greatly from their talent pipeline when they have built a basis of qualified candidates who are actively seeking new employment. Scouting, hiring, and recruiting the best set of individuals is very beneficial, but it is not easy.

Time, effort, and money are invested in the talent pipeline, though the company is not always in a position to recruit. For example, 59% of CEOs had a hiring freeze during the pandemic because of financial constraints.

A hiring freeze can ensure that current employees remain in their positions, given that they still meet the company’s expectations. It is crucial to remember that they are put into place to preserve the organization’s economic and financial plans. The freeze prevents business losses while considering the budget set by the company.

This doesn’t mean the tasks related to developing and nurturing your talent pipeline halt. Recruiters still need to constantly communicate with these candidates to ensure they are kept engaged with clear expectations. 

It is crucial to ensure that after a hiring freeze ends, you have built a solid pipeline to ensure everything is in place when the hiring commences. So, keep your talent pipeline warm with the following tips!

Tips for a Hiring Freeze 

A hiring freeze can vary between a few weeks to multiple months. Keep the following tips in mind when you are faced with a hiring freeze: 

1. Stay connected to candidates 

Continue interacting with qualified candidates, as it’s crucial to remain interactive and keep the candidate warm. If you are not engaging your candidate, another recruiter likely is. Sending out personalized messages can show that you are committed to making them feel connected to the company and that an exciting opportunity exists for them. 

2.  Build a positive connection with them

When you confirm that you have sourced a strong candidate for a potential future role, it is essential to set the expectation. Candidates will gain trust when you acknowledge things like a hiring freeze because you are keeping them as updated as possible on the recruitment process. 

By maintaining this connection, your candidate will feel kept in the loop and ready to commit when you have a positive update. These candidates will have a more productive outlook in the days to come as they know that this company can foster camaraderie and a positive work ethic.

3. Avoid indecisiveness

One of the biggest mistakes you can make during a hiring freeze is indecisiveness and a lack of transparency. It is vital to set clear expectations and avoid misleading the candidate. Misleading the candidate on what they can expect will cause them to distrust the process and ask themselves, “Is this too good to be true?”. 

The first thing you should do is establish which method of communication your candidate prefers. From there, specify how often they can anticipate an update. By setting clear communication expectations, you avoid the candidate wondering what is happening behind the scenes. 

4. Provide honest feedback

It is important to provide honest feedback to your candidates to build trust. Providing honest feedback will show the candidate that you are there to help positively guide them through the recruitment process. 

Providing constructive feedback shows the company’s positive attitude toward its prospective employees. By letting your candidate know what they could improve on, you give them the insight to use the hiring freeze to their advantage. At this point in the process, you have sold them on the opportunity, and by providing honest feedback, you give them the chance to improve before an offer could be extended. 

5. Try Informational interviewing

Informational interviewing is not a job interview but an informal conversation to learn more about a candidate or specific topic. Utilizing informational interviewing during a hiring freeze can be beneficial because you will better understand the candidate’s job search and overall investment in your process. 

As recruiters, it is crucial to have a complete understanding of your candidate’s goals, requirements, and the other recruitment processes they are currently engaged in. Without this information, you do not have the tools to successfully ensure a seamless transition throughout the recruitment process, especially during a hiring freeze. 

Informational interviewing is about asking the right questions to ensure you have the information you need to keep a candidate warm. Without this information, you cannot identify their motivators, and they will likely lose interest in your process. Going forward, you can utilize the knowledge you gain to keep your candidate engaged and excited to continue.