Freeze! No, this isn’t a stick up, but the situation may still cause your hands to go up. Today we’re talking hiring freezes –  a trend that doesn’t get anyone excited. Trends tend to excite, energize and remind us why we love our ever-changing and evolving industry. Unfortunately, this latest trend has our colleagues demotivated, stressed and, sadly, forgetting why they fell in love with international education.

Hiring freezes are a reaction from institutions or organizations that find themselves with less revenue coming in than expected.  The solution: no new positions and if someone departs their current position, the department must divvy up tasks and simply make it work with less folks. 

I’m sure we can all relate; In our personal lives we do this everyday. We cut the vacation we’ve been dreaming of due to a job loss or house repair. We make adjustments accordingly and our institutions are simply doing the same.  But, what if “making it work with less” didn’t mean less support or fewer resources? Rather than seeing a hiring freeze as a freeze to your operations, use it as an opportunity! 

For example, if you have a recently vacated position that you won’t be able to fill, take your payroll savings and put them to good use. Very likely you’ve already allocated those funds for the year.  If your staff member had not given their notice – they would have been paid for the rest of the academic year. Get creative and use these funds to ensure your team doesn’t get demotivated or overwhelmed.  Set them up for success and showcase to your administration that you’ve made changes that actually decrease spending. Pitched correctly, everyone wins! (Trust me – we’ve helped other universities do this and we can help you too!)

So when you hear hiring freeze, rather than throwing your hands in the air and giving up, tell your administration: “Challenge accepted.”

Scott Tayloe
IEP Executive Consultant