Announce a Hiring Freeze • Example Letters, Guides and Samples


As the topic suggests, this announcement can send a chill through the ranks. Still you must make a direct, no nonsense statement, tempered with understanding and optimism.

How to write this announcement letter:

  1. Explain the situation with authority.
  2. Explain in a general way why the company is taking this action.
  3. Express understanding, possible adjustments, and anticipation for a return to hiring.

Example Letter #1


Please be aware that until further notice, all hiring will be put on hold. The current instability of the market suggests that we take time to assess our marketing strategies before we continue with expansion.

We realize that some sections were hoping to add positions by the new year, and we hope we can return to that plan soon, but caution dictates that we move more slowly for a short time. This would be a good time to review our procedures and find out where we might become more efficient.

Example Letter #2


As a direct result of the failure of Doe Savings and Loan, a hiring freeze will go into effect at the close of business today. To get us through this period, some of you may have to assume additional responsibilities until business stabilizes. We anticipate that it will take us approximately three months to return to normal operations.

Example Letter #3


Because of the recent economic downturn, the company has instituted a temporary hiring freeze. We are sorry for any difficulty this may cause, but market forces affecting the entire industry force us into this temporary position. We hope that by taking this and other similar measures, we can avoid laying off any current workers.

We realize that this may create a hardship for some departments; however, we believe the current situation will not last long. Cooperation and teamwork between departments is especially important during this period. We appreciate your support as we cope with the current challenges and look forward to better times.

Example Letter #4


It has become necessary to announce a hiring freeze at Doe Corporation. We expect this situation to be temporary; however, until further notice, no new personnel can be hired. As you know, consumer spending was slow during the last quarter; however, recent reports indicate that the fourth quarter will be better than average. We are willing to discuss any special circumstances that arise and make adjustments as needed. We appreciate the support and cooperation of all our employees and hope the situation will return to normal soon.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1 Explain the situation with authority.

Sample Sentences for Step 1
  • Effective immediately, there will be no increases in any staff positions until we have a better reading on fourth quarter sales.
  • Please be advised that there will be no more hiring until I have personally authorized it.
  • Our third quarter performance dictates that we must put an immediate freeze on hiring for the indefinite future.
  • Please advise your division that there will be a moratorium on hiring additional staff until further notice.
  • I regret to inform you that we must freeze all hiring indefinitely. Employees leaving the company after today will not be replaced without my personal approval.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
  • a year-end deficit
  • able to avoid a direct layoff, but
  • advise your division that
  • an immediate freeze on hiring
  • effective immediately
  • employees leaving the company
  • freeze all hiring indefinitely
  • has become necessary for us to
  • moratorium on hiring
  • no new personnel can be hired
  • performance dictates that
  • prevents us from hiring
  • probably not come as a surprise that
  • regret to inform you
  • until the next fiscal year
  • until further notice
  • will be no more hiring
  • will not be replaced
  • without approval of the

2 Explain in a general way why the company is taking this action.

Sample Sentences for Step 2
  • Our dismal performance during the first two quarters of this year makes this action necessary.
  • Our domestic sales seem to have peaked, so we must focus more closely on international markets.
  • Rising interest rates have forced us to postpone building the new complex for the customer relations division.
  • Our rush to reach the holiday markets has left us overstaffed in several sections.
  • The pending merger with Doe International suggests that there may be layoffs in some departments. We cannot in good conscience continue to hire until this situation is resolved.
  • It appears we overestimated our need for seasonal help.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
  • as you are probably aware
  • belt-tightening throughout the industry
  • budgets cut to bare essentials
  • cuts in consumer spending
  • find ourselves overstaffed
  • importance of remaining competitive
  • makes this action necessary
  • may necessitate layoffs
  • overall budget cuts
  • overestimated our need for
  • pending merger with
  • poor sales during
  • postpone our expansion plans
  • reduction of staff due to attrition
  • release of this quarter's
  • revenues did not match our projections
  • rising interest rates
  • slowdown in the entire industry
  • uncertainty in the marketplace
  • year-end deficit

3 Express understanding, possible adjustments, and anticipation for a return to hiring.

Sample Sentences for Step 3
  • I realize that this may present a hardship for some sections. If we work efficiently, this phase may pass quickly.
  • I know this announcement comes at a difficult time, but we must conserve our assets until we can develop new markets. We hope to be in a position to lift the freeze by June.
  • None of us likes this situation, but current economic conditions have caused a slowdown in the entire industry. Still, we expect an upturn in the second quarter.
  • The next few months may be difficult for some departments, but let's resolve to keep morale high.
  • I understand that this action may upset some managers who were hoping to replace retirees at the end of the year. I will be willing to discuss and consider individual cases.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
  • am as disappointed as you that
  • appreciate your loyalty and cooperation
  • can get through this together
  • comes at a difficult time
  • difficulties should ease when
  • expect an upturn after
  • get through this relatively unscathed
  • hope this phase will pass quickly
  • hope to be in a position to
  • hope to be back to normal soon
  • increased workload
  • know that I appreciate your extra effort
  • may present a hardship
  • may be difficult for
  • regret the hardship this may cause
  • shoulder extra responsibilities
  • situation is temporary
  • trust that we will be able to lift the freeze by
  • try to keep morale high
  • willing to discuss
  • willing to make adjustments to