Hiring Freeze and Its Purpose

What Do Employers Hope to Accomplish with a Hiring Freeze?

A Hiring Freeze Leaves Empty Seats. Martin Barraud/OJO Images/Getty Images

In a hiring freeze, an employer decides to stop hiring employees for all non-essential positions. It allows an employer to consolidate current employees and potentially restructure departments to complete the work that is essential for serving the customers of the business.

Even during a hiring freeze, smart employers continue to strategically hire in areas where skills are difficult to find and in positions that will immediately generate revenue for the business.

But, areas such as research and development, administrative support, training, and recruitment may need to be placed on hold for the short term with no new hires.

Another component of a hiring freeze is to put filling positions that are vacated during the freeze on hold if they are not deemed essential to carrying out the core business. A hiring freeze, which is normally implemented to cut business costs, or to right size the business, is an alternative to employee layoffs.

The hiring freeze can affect current employees in negative ways. They may be required to take on more work or responsibilities. They may have to do critical steps in your work processes when you can't fill a vacant position due to a hiring freeze.

The majority of your employees will be willing work with you to accomplish unfilled jobs and job duties, as long as they can see an end point. Believing that the additional workload is permanent will negatively affect employee morale at a critical point for the business - when you need help and understanding from your employees.

During a hiring freeze, employers should restrain their managers from adding additional staffing costs in ways chosen to get around the freeze. This happens through adding temporary or contingent staff, hiring part-time employees with no benefits, and hiring interns, for example.

This is crucial because your regular employees will see through the managers' ploys and the need for the hiring freeze can become a joke and have a negative impact on theĀ  morale of current employees.

Use hiring freezes only when they are essential to prevent worse outcomes for your regular employees and your business.