How Recruiters Can Stay Active in a Hiring Freeze

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In precarious periods such as the one we are experiencing with COVID-19, job security and opportunities become scarce. While some companies continue to search for and acquire new talent, most have halted their recruiting efforts for the time being. Even tech giants like Google will be reducing their hiring for the remainder of 2020. Like most of the industries being affected, recruiters and hiring teams are wondering how they can remain relevant and proactive until they can get back to work as usual.

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The very nature of hiring freezes limits recruiters from their typical responsibilities, including screening and sourcing. However, that does not imply a complete standstill for recruitment. In fact, there are several ways to stay productive as a recruiter and even strengthen your position post-coronavirus.

Adapt and Adopt New Tech

One way thoughtful recruiters can make the most of their time during a hiring freeze is to assess their current tech stack. Recruiters and hiring teams can look at their existing applications and tech and determine what needs to be updated and learned. One of the questions they can ask themselves is: “What adds value?

By doing this, recruiters can streamline their tools to maximize efficiency. Knowing what adds value can help recruiters concentrate tech into one or two platforms that optimize their objective of sourcing talent. One common complaint among recruiters is that they do not have enough time, or data, to analyze and create actionable insights to improve their strategy.

Recruiters can take this time to try and implement a preemployment testing program to screen applicants. This tech minimizes hiring time and helps fit the most qualified candidate with the best company. Another tool that has shown to be successful in streamlining work for recruiters is the applicant tracking system (ATS). Recruiters often try to juggle too much at one time on several different platforms. An ATS easily integrates with all other tech essentials for hiring, but it also improves the three most important hiring metrics: time to hire, cost per hire, and quality of hire.

Keep Scouting Talent and Building Pipelines

Despite hiring freezes, recruiters will still continue to scout talent. Why? Well, they know that hiring will eventually resume again and that it is imperative to create a pipeline of ready candidates for when it does.

Scouting talent and finding the right job for candidates is the bread and butter of a recruiter’s job. Building talent pipelines is a fantastic way for recruiters to be efficient and keep their time to hire at a minimum, not to mention coordinate a supply of the right candidates in the best employable location for businesses that need them most.

During a hiring freeze, teams and recruiters should focus on a few concepts to develop their talent pipelines. The most obvious is to plan ahead. This is critical and entails determining what kinds of roles, in particular, need a pipeline. For example, recurring, high-turnover, and seasonal job positions would be great to build preemptive pipelines for.

Next, passive candidates need to be contacted. However, in a hiring freeze, these candidates may not be in a passive state of their choice, which is important to remember when you contact them so you can empathize with their situation.

Also, these positions are not open yet, and contacting qualified candidates has to be undertaken with a certain dexterity. Recruiters should let them know that these positions will not be open until the hiring process returns to normal.

Enhance Hiring Skills

The middle of a hiring freeze is the optimal opportunity to take a step back and evaluate the overall structure of a recruitment process. Time is finally freed up, so make the most of it. Recruiters can decide to take advantage of their newfound time and use it to self-educate and hone their skills.

Recruiters’ hiring skills will always need to be adapted and sharpened. They can use this time to listen and study the newest methods and best practices available at the moment. How to negotiate and apply proper and effective listening is a skill that needs to be practiced regularly, especially for interviewing. Now is the time for recruiters to practice and develop better questions to ask potential candidates in the interview process. This will give them the ability to discern the right candidates more effectively in the future.

Self-education in this profession does not have to be limited to the recruitment trade; learning and becoming acquainted with other professions is also a good use of time. Taking time to study other aspects of business, such as marketing and sales, will undoubtedly help any recruiter in the course of his or her work. A recruiter with a good foundation in marketing, for instance, will know how to promote job openings more effectively.

The future is unpredictable and unknowable, but that does not mean one should stop growing and perfecting his or her craft. A determined recruiter will make the most of any predicament and come out of it stronger and better than before.

Adrie Smith is Head of Content and Branding at Recruitee, where she is responsible for one of Europe’s leading recruitment blogs. She is also the host of the Recruitee webinar and TA Radio, where she teases exclusive hiring tips out of the best in the industry.

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