- It’s understandable to feel confused and disappointed if a company cuts short on hiring mid-application.
- Insider asked two recruiters for their advice and a script on how to respond.
- Don’t respond immediately, be polite and never rant on social media, they suggest.
After four interviews, an assessment, and a whole bunch of lies to your current manager, you’re almost there. Your dream job must be yours. Then an email from the recruiter arrives in your inbox. The company is temporarily suspending hiring.
It’s normal to be frustrated and disappointed when you desperately want a role, said Nikita Gupta, the founder of FAANGPath, which offers career advice on how to land jobs at big tech companies.
Hiring freezes are not unusual, but recent announcements that companies like Meta, Uber and Twitter (formerly some of the fastest growing tech companies) are slowing hiring, amid rising inflation and stock market stagnation, suggest that this could signal broader labor market developments.
A small number of Gupta clients contacted her to tell her that their applications had been stopped, she said. It is important to know how to react if you find yourself in the same position.
Take time to reflect
It might feel therapeutic to get instantly torn up and send an email peppered with acerbic lines affirming how hard you’ve put into the app and how they’re the real suckers who don’t know what they’re missing.
“Whatever you do, think twice about it,” Gupta said. The first thing to do is take time, she advises.
Even if it’s only for a few hours, you’ll need your sanity to focus on your current job search or resume your current role, Gupta said.
Hiring freezes can occur for a number of reasons, usually beyond the control of the recruiter, such as a slowdown in venture capital funding, excessive expansion or post-lockdown readjustments.
The process can be just as frustrating for the individual recruiter, who often has little control over the process, as it is for the candidate.
“It’s overwhelming to find the perfect candidate and something gets stuck,” said Jody Robie of Talent Works, which provides recruitment services to companies. As painful as it is, they should still have the conversation with the candidate, she said.
Here’s how to answer and in what order
You don’t want to cut ties with a recruiter, even if you don’t intend to work for that company again.
Be polite and thank them for their time and for letting you know, Gupta said.
Roby also recommends being honest and offers a rough script of how to phrase your answer:
“I understand these things happen, I just want to let you know how much I enjoyed the process and I’m disappointed it’s on hiatus.
“I hope that if things change, you will be comfortable contacting me again for the role.”
An employer can give reasons for a hiring freeze, but if they don’t, you have every right to ask why and any comments they may have, Robie said.
A full hiring freeze likely won’t last forever, Gupta said. Keep in touch with a recruiter, perhaps through LinkedIn, to become part of their network once they start hiring again.
The recruiter may also move to a new company where positions are open, she said.
Never let off steam on social media
There’s one thing the two agree on: Little good can come from posting your anger on social media, regardless of your experience.
“He’s the last candidate I would want to recruit,” Robie said. “If someone is that angry and lambasting an organization – whether it’s deemed worthy or not – you start with a little red flag because someone felt it necessary to do so.”
She suggests reaching out to people in your network if you need to vent.
A little hindsight can help
It can be painful, but sometimes a hiring freeze can save you heartache down the line. For some companies, a hiring freeze can be a positive thing — showing they’re stopping to think about what roles they’re adding and whether they’re really needed, Robie said.
“A worse situation is you do four interviews, get hired and then fired within eight weeks,” she said.