Announce a Hiring Freeze — Letter-Writing Tutorial


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.


1. Explain the situation with authority.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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

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