Hiring Freeze Announcements: Should You Care?
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When you hear about hiring freezes, does it cause you to rethink your desire to change jobs? Or do you stifle efforts in finding a new job? Will the recent layoffs and hiring freezes cause you to give up hope in a “hot job market?”
It shouldn’t. First, determine if it matters to you.
Second, does it affect your industry?
How Does News of Job Market Turbulence Affect You?
No communication should drive you to pause your job search. You must maintain the courage and gumption you had when you first realized it was time for a change. Surround yourself with motivated people so you can encourage and inform each other of the next opportunity. You can help each other stay on the hunt even if you hear distracting news or contradictory information that tempt you to shrink back.
It would be best if you looked at announcements of hiring freezes with context. The same with layoffs. What do they have to do with you?
Not long ago, many viewed the job market as “hot.” Yet, the next month the market is “cooling off.” All of this information should be considered valuable news for your job search. How you decide what you do and where you do it may need to change based on events at the time.
One of the reasons for mass media reactions is that the companies announcing hiring freezes are often the ones who hire hundreds or thousands of new employees each year — contributing to the job market and economic growth.
Understand What a Hiring Freeze Announcement Means
When you hear of hiring freezes, either from your company or within your industry, it’s essential to understand what it could mean.
Companies may choose to halt new hires for a variety of reasons. Such an announcement can signal:
- A recent loss in profit, cost reduction, or poor economic prognosis
- Hiring is no longer a priority
- A pause in hiring may affect only parts of the company
- At times announcements include a time frame, but not always
- Internal problems and possibly layoffs to follow
- Despite reports of freezes, the company will hire more workers like you
What Should Hiring Freeze Announcements Mean to You?
The two most important decisions you’ll need to make when looking for a job are:
- What you want to do
- Where you want to do it
By answering those questions, you’ll make your job search more focused, less time-consuming, and monetarily satisfying.
Hannah Morgan, a Career Strategist, reminds us there are different perspectives for the employed and the unemployed. She says,
Your decision to make a job change also depends on whether you are unemployed or employed. If you are employed, assess your employer and industry, and consider whether there is danger. Is it time to leave? If unemployed, you still want to evaluate a company’s and industry’s financial health, but you also need to balance that with the sense of urgency to find a job.
Hearing that the company you hoped to work for has just implemented a hiring freeze should make you curious. Investigating the company, its employees, hirings practices, leadership, and financial standings will tell you whether a company will still consider hiring you.
Take the time to look at the facts away from the news or emotional, social media reactions for a balanced perspective. Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer and founder of Chameleon Resumes, advises, “[There’s] always ethical opportunity in chaos. We must find it and determine how we position our skills/wins as the solution.”
React With Caution to Hiring Freeze Announcements.
Before reacting to a hiring freeze announcement, make sure you first have all the facts.
In June 2022, Tesla announced a 10% cut in its workforce, leading to wide reporting in the news and a 3% tumble in its stock prices. Yet, in later reports, the CEO said the reductions apply to salaried workers only.
If your target company is Tesla, you’ll need to investigate whether the freeze affects the positions you want. Possibly, the communication might be a concern because of the lack of clarity at first. But it’s necessary to make an informed decision than respond with a knee-jerk reaction.
Coinbase, a cryptocurrency company, had a different announcement that caused waves. At the beginning of 2022, Coinbase announced intentions to hire 2,000 new employees.
However, with cryptocurrency trading falling off by 75%, they recently rescinded job offers from those who accepted them and then froze hiring. The cryptocurrency market crash brought the company’s worth way below projections. Not only did the company denounce its hiring plans, but it also reneged on 300 hires and laid off nearly 1,000 workers.
Hiring freezes can happen to any company at any time.
The above companies offer cautionary lessons to remember you are not yet an employee before the first day of work. Even the first 90 days of a new job are not guaranteed for many.
Although rescinded job offers are not typical, the more important lesson is not feeling sentimental about a company you never worked for. It’s understandable to be sentimental for a company treating you well and coworkers who respect you. Remember, the company that hires you doesn’t share any sentimental value toward you.
What About the “Hot Job Market?”
Most of the recent freeze announcements are from tech companies that announced hiring sprees at the beginning of the year.
It’s easy to be seduced by peers and colleagues, landing new jobs with substantial compensation packages. It can be discouraging to hear of how well they’re doing, or it may motivate you to try your hand at finding your next opportunity.
Unfortunately, last month’s job report is irrelevant by the end of the current month.
Job reports are somewhat helpful as they are snapshots of the U.S. job market. Yet, just like hiring freeze announcements, the job reports don’t tell every story in full.
While looking at hiring trends in specific industries, your chances of getting hired are not dependent on trends. You’ll have more control over your choices if there is a high demand for your skills. A job referral from a former coworker, friend, or relative contributes to your hiring success.
The job market is splintered and may remain for some time. While hundreds of thousands of jobs are added monthly, there are announcements of hiring freezes.
Investigate your industry to see if it’s still part of the hot job market or cooling off.
Real Talk: How to Navigate News of Hiring Freezes
Whether a good or bad job market, job news is helpful as the weather report. It’s excellent information to know how to dress, but it rarely deters you from acting. You must forge forward to find the opportunities you desire, no matter the job market.
Stay competitive in any job market despite hiring freezes.
- Focus on where you want to work. With clarity of where you want to work, targeting several companies will help you focus on what is essential. If a company not in your industry announces a hiring or wage freeze, you can continue to concentrate on your potential opportunities.
- Extend where you look. The biggest mistake you can make is to focus on one company to hire you. When you have many choices, you remain in control of your career. Waiting for one company to respond to your job application or referral is the worst feeling when they decide to hire someone else.
- Keep moving forward. Let’s say a company you want to work at announces a hiring freeze. Did they inform what part of their workforce the freeze affects? Did they mention pausing the rest of their hiring efforts? Is this the only announcement of any turbulence? While answering yes to any of these questions may halt your efforts, forge forward with companies thriving and seeking out job seekers with your skill set.
Stay Focused on the Goal, Despite Announcements
We’ve learned from past economic challenges how job seekers who are focused clearly understand and recognize those opportunities to do well. Annette Richmond of Career Intelligence Resume Writing points out, “Unrest in the job market has the opposite effect, which may benefit those who continue actively looking.”
Searching in any job market is scary, and hearing how companies respond to negative economic news can discourage anyone. The one thing you can control is your actions during times when new information appears at every turn.
Hiring freezes, like layoffs, strikes, and wage freezes, will stop very few people from wanting to change jobs.
Networking should always be a staple in all phases of a job search. The strength and dynamics of your connections can also bring unadvertised opportunities.
You can network your way into companies that announced hiring freezes or those expecting to slow down hiring. If you have fostered relationships before, announcements of hiring freezes often accelerate the process and reduce your competition.