It’s no secret that hiring freezes are happening all over North America. But what does that mean for Black tech professionals? If you’re a Black professional, you know that job security is always a concern. And in times of economic uncertainty, the fear of being laid off or having your hours reduced is even greater.
Hiring freezes are hard for everyone, especially those who rely on new hires to grow their business. According to a 2022 survey from Fiverr, more than 85% of U.S small businesses plan to implement hiring freezes during the economic downturn. 88% of hybrid businesses are also considering implementing hiring freezes.
What is a hiring freeze?
A hiring freeze is when a company halts all new hiring. This mechanism can be applied in response to an economic downturn, as a way to trim costs, or for other reasons. Hiring freezes can last for a few weeks or several months, affecting all employees or only those in specific departments. During a hiring freeze, companies may still allow for promotions and transfers but will not bring any new employees on board.
We already know that in tough economic times, it isn’t uncommon for companies to institute a hiring freeze or slow down to keep the company afloat and ensure future sustainability.
TBH you gotta pull up a seat and listen. If you’ve been affected by a hiring freeze, don’t get too caught up without understanding why specific measures were taken. Fortunately, there are ways for individuals to navigate hiring freezes with minimal impact on their careers. Understanding how these measures affect your ability to find job opportunities and negotiate a fair contract when accepting a new position is key.
Here are six reasons why Black professionals should care about hiring freezes.
Hiring freezes are a sign of economic uncertainty.
When the economy is struggling, businesses often institute hiring freezes to cut costs. However, these freezes can do more harm than good. For one thing, they limit the available talent pool, making it difficult for businesses to find the best candidates for open positions. In addition, they can lead to high levels of turnover as employees become frustrated with their stagnant career prospects. And finally, they can create a negative company culture as employees feel devalued and unappreciated.
Hiring freezes disproportionately affect Black professionals.
Yo, don’t even get us started on how hiring freezes disproportionately affect Black professionals. As the saying goes, when America catches a cold, Black folks get pneumonia. Hiring freezes are a perfect example of this principle in action. When the economy is struggling, businesses quickly cut costs by freezing hiring. This has a disproportionate impact on Black professionals, who are often the first to be let go and the last to be hired. They can ultimately lead to a decrease in workplace diversity. As a result, a hiring freeze can have a devastating ripple effect on Black communities. not only does it lead to higher unemployment rates, but it also reduces spending power and contributes to the wealth gap. Despite these challenges, Black professionals continue to persevere.
Hiring freezes make it harder for Black job seekers to find employment.
Hiring freezes significantly increase the difficulty of finding new job opportunities, especially for Black professionals. With fewer available positions, candidates have fewer opportunities to find new work. Depending on the industry, hiring freezes might make it more difficult for professionals to find positions, too. For example, engineering jobs are often necessary for companies investing in new projects to grow the business. If a company cannot fill engineering positions, it may slow down or stop projects to avoid taking on more risk. When a hiring freeze is in effect, it’s essential to be prepared for additional challenges and setbacks. This means keeping your resume up to date and making sure you have a plan for finding new job opportunities. It can also be helpful to establish relationships with recruiters before a hiring freeze is announced. Obsidi.com is a good place to start with free weekly resume reviews every Friday with our stellar recruitment team.
Hiring freezes offer fewer opportunities to advance.
Even if you’re employed and not looking for a new job, hiring freezes offer little to no room to advance your career. During a hiring freeze, promotions and other opportunities for advancement grind to a halt. And since Black professionals are already underrepresented in management and leadership positions, this can further widen the disparity between us and our white counterparts.
Layoffs are often a consequence of hiring freezes.
Hiring freezes often lead to layoffs in the short term. An organization that starts a hiring freeze may lay off workers identified as unnecessary or redundant. For example, if a company is trying to reduce costs by reducing the total number of employees, it might lay off workers who performed roles that overlap with positions that have been frozen. This is a common consequence of hiring freezes, although it’s not always the case. Another common reason for layoffs is that an organization over-hired in anticipation of a growing demand for its products or services.
Prospective employees can take advantage of hiring freezes.
Hiring freezes give prospective employees more leverage in negotiations. This is especially true for workers in high-demand industries, such as IT. Workers who know the company is desperate to hire and retain new employees can use their leverage to ask for more favourable terms. For example, you can ask for a more significant signing bonus or a higher starting salary if you know that the company is desperate to hire you and doesn’t have a lot of options. Hiring freezes also allow candidates to negotiate contract terms before the company makes an offer. For example, you can ask if the company is willing to negotiate a salary or offer a higher starting salary. This is less likely to happen after you’ve been offered a position and signed a contract because it’s more difficult to walk back terms after the company has invested time and resources in hiring you.
Hiring freezes may be a necessary cost-cutting measure for businesses in times of economic uncertainty. Still, they can harm underrepresented Black professionals in the workforce. If you are a Black professional, you gotta take steps to protect yourself and your career. Tapping into our thriving Black tech community on Obsidi is an excellent place to start.
Come Vibe the Community at BFUTR
Are you looking for a job? Well, networking is the key to success. And we know just the place for you to start networking. BFUTR is the best place for Black professionals and techies to find jobs in the industry. So, bring your A-game, and let us help you get hired by companies that actually wanna see you WIN!
BFUTR Global Tech Summit 2022
- When: October 19 – 21, 2022
- Where: Sheraton Centre Hotel, 123 Queen St. W, Toronto, Canada
- Why: Lit parties, bussin networking, inspiring content, career opportunities and good vibes
Now grab that in-person VIP Pass or join us online with General Admission. We rooting for you!