What Employees can do to Survive Hiring Freezes and Layoffs

When companies pause hiring new employees, the workload on existing employees is bound to increase. Employees can view this as an opportunity to take on more responsibilities which may lead to an enhancement of their role. 

Additionally, they can use this period to acquire new skills by doing short-term courses. This will exhibit their desire to learn and grow in their career besides highlighting their professional skills. 

Employees can also use this time to strengthen their professional relationships with their managers and peers and position themselves as indispensable team players. Experts say that those who ask the right questions without being too nosy, communicate regularly, collaborate and pitch in for extra work will become more valued.  

Professionals who are more “career-oriented” as opposed to those who focus on their current job are also better placed in times of a slump or when the brakes are put on hiring. Career-oriented professionals focus more on upskilling, enhancing their learning within their domains and having a positive mindset and thus prove to be valuable assets for their company.

Lastly, employees can counter potential layoffs by involving in activities beyond their role sheet. As an initial step in this process, they should assess the importance of their position in their organization. For instance, is the department of a product/service that they’re specializing in affected by the economic downturn? If so, they should simultaneously reskill and/or develop functional knowledge over another role less likely to be impacted, so that their job remains secure. 

At the end of the day, hiring freezes and layoffs are short-term measures necessitated by economic instability, fluctuating market conditions and global crisis. In such a situation, professionals should understand their role in the organization, have a frank conversation with their manager or HR and simultaneously upskill themselves to navigate this uncertain time with ease. 

Hiring freezes can be disturbing. However, by keeping calm and following the steps outlined above, professionals can overcome the challenge of a hiring freeze.