As originally published on ERE.net…
Creep is defined in the dictionary as “to move stealthily and cautiously”. This description accurately portrays that of a hiring manager’s movements when gaining approval to open a job requisition during a hiring freeze. I am not sure if camouflage and face paint are required to slip their job requisition through the process, but the image suffices to illustrate the cunning necessary to get it done.
Hiring freeze is a subjective phrase which does not hold the same definition as the game freeze tag played on most playgrounds. Managers are not good at holding still for very long and often work in slow deliberate movements emblematic of practicing Tai Chi on the front lawn in the morning. It is easy to see them standing there but unless you stick around and watch their collective movements you’ll miss the outcome of their efforts.
As HR professionals managing in a very challenging economic environment, it would seem that the definition of “freeze” would have stronger interpretation now than in cycles of the recent past. But similar to patterns of behavior in prior hiring freezes, we see the inevitable Requisition Creep. I have uncovered 3 theories (no research conducted) to help describe this phenomenon and layout some ideas on how HR can best respond to this event as well as prepare for the eventual economic recovery.