Hiring freezes. Firms are likely to institute multiple cost-saving measures in tandem. "No single action here is going to help companies weather the storm," says Laura Sejen, global director of strategic rewards at Watson Wyatt. "Companies are looking at the full array of cuts they might make, and I think they are pulling a number of these triggers." As an alternative or in addition to layoffs, companies may stop hiring new people and leave some vacant positions unfilled. A quarter of the companies Watson Wyatt surveyed plan to freeze hiring in the next year.