Summary: Should you look for new hires in December? Only if you are interested in finding excellent candidates.
- Good recruiting skills never take time off during the week.
- Nor do good job searching skills.
- The beauty of this is good recruiting skills and job searching skills can discover the perfect candidate.
- The secret to this is it usually happens in December during the height of the holiday season.
Each year, when December arrives, we invariably find ourselves thinking about friends and loved ones. We consider inviting fires inside cozy fireplaces, bustling family dinners, and hard-hitting playoff football games as the Christmas tree glistens nearby. By now, we have hopefully finished our holiday shopping, and the bruises and lacerations we received from three weeks of Black Fridays have finally begun to heal.
Shopping, big meals, and opening presents are what many of us think about, consider, rue and overall become part of as family and friends. With December, we think of the holidays, Christmas notwithstanding. What we do not think of, unless we have to, are jobs, job openings, and job searches.
According to several job market-related publications, many job seekers believe hiring managers delay hiring until January. Doing so allows employers to save money before they close the books on the previous year’s budget, as well as avoid the administrative hassles associated with onboarding new employees during the busy holiday-oriented schedule that accompanies – and conflicts with end-of-year deadlines and holiday vacations.
Hiring managers and recruiters maintain that the holiday slowdown in hiring is nothing other than myth. In fact, many charged with bringing in recruits feel increased pressure to fill open slots before the end of the year.
“If a job is available, whether it is the holiday season or not, it has to be filled,” said John Robak, chief operating officer and executive vice president for Greeley and Hansen, a global environmental and engineering consulting firm. “We are a professional services firm, and we are about selling billable hours. If there’s a job vacancy, we are still interviewing people.”
As a hiring manager or recruiter, consider the following four points to find out why December is one of the best times of years to recruit for your company’s open positions.
- What this is not is seasonal hiring
Needless to say, what we are not talking about is seasonal hiring. The type of recruitment discussed in this article is high-end corporate positions; not retail posts selling perfume and wristwatches, among other articles, within the mall’s department store.
Nor is this about getting a gig spot with the United Parcel Service where you will wear a cute brown outfit for a total of three weeks, getting hot and sweaty from delivering boxed-up Christmas presents until at the end of three weeks, you are given the glad handshake and told your employment is no longer needed.
No, job hiring (as well as job searching) in December is the real deal. It shows:
- The importance for a company to have its open positions filled as soon as possible.
- The seriousness of committed job searchers who, no matter the time of year or season, have thoughts of job offers in their heads, not candy canes or video games.
This chart substantiates the increase in December recruitment in the last 13 years:
Year-end hiring is beneficial for recruiters. Those who apply for their job openings in the dead of December with all else that goes on make for very serious and steadfast potential employees. The recruiter at this point realizes they might potentially be receiving the best candidates possible simply based on the season.
These candidates are not preoccupied with the season. They are not casual job seekers who have a few minutes between tree trimming and stuffing the turkey to check out the job boards. They are as serious about landing a good job – no matter what time of year – as you are as a recruiter who needs to have your open position promptly filled.
In short, you as a recruiter and they as a job seeker have come into a win-win situation.
- The job seeker knows you are intent with all seriousness to fill a position despite the time of year.
- Moreover, you as the recruiter are assured that you have received quality candidates who are as equally serious about their job prospects, despite the time of year the job has become available.
- Overall, there will be fewer jobs and fewer candidates
Of course, it is not sacrosanct or somehow written in the stone pillars of recruitment within top businesses that dream candidates crop up during the Christmas holidays. In fact, with almost every available opening inside your company, your chances of meeting and interviewing far fewer candidates outweigh the odds that the perfect person will be seated in front of your desk.
The beauty of this conundrum is, of course, with the holiday season in full swing, you will have less resumes to suss through and fewer candidates to interview.
Does that, however, mean you will receive lesser quality prospects for your open position? Not necessarily.
Again, just because the year is ending and the festivities beginning never means that there aren’t good, solid job candidates out there. The holidays only mean there are less of them, which allow you the opportunity to thoroughly investigate those candidates whom you feel will be best for the open task at hand.
As for the job seekers themselves, they will be more confident and in many ways, more fresh. They will know that your company is a thoughtful entity, particularly because of the holiday season, as opposed to other companies who decide they will slow down their operations – if not suspend them altogether – until early January.
The non-seasonal job seeker will display more confidence as he or she realizes they will not have to weigh through the detritus of other job candidates who can lower their chances of getting a good, high-paying position.
Again, it is a win-win for you and your holiday season job candidate.
The following chart reveals job searching in the 4th Quarter remains substantially higher than it has for the past 13 years:
- Less Competition from Other Companies
It is not just the job seekers who decide to take advantage of the holiday slowdown and effectively put their job search on a seasonal hiatus. Companies are known to do this as well, and not just within their human resources department, but the entire company.
Of course, with fewer companies open for business during the holidays, particularly those that with the beginning of the new year, will need to gear up their hiring processes hurriedly, you will already have the upper hand. That is because, by January 1st, you may already have all the candidates you need, if not have already hired all the workers you need for your open positions.
Late year hiring can give your company the advantage. By the time your competitors are scrambling around to fill their open positions, you will have:
- Already on-boarded the recruit.
- Had them fill out all the prerequisite hiring paperwork and other materials.
- Trained them so that they know every aspect of their job.
- Introduced them to their work environment and workmates who have not yet taken their holiday time off.
Yup, you beat the competition because you decided to keep up your company’s recruitment effort throughout the holiday season. You have a new employee already in place and beginning their work, while down the block, the competition still has vacant posts.
You will also probably save time and money training your new employee because this is traditionally a downtime of the fiscal year in which you can dedicate more time and tutelage to your new hire.
- You and your company will serve as examples for others to follow
If your competition is worthy of being your competition, then they will sit up and take notice of your recruiting efforts throughout December. They will quickly see how you have wasted no time nor have you sat on your laurels, expecting to glide you and your recruiting efforts through the holiday season.
Your late-year recruiting serves notice to your business competitors, demonstrating to them that neither you nor your company believes in the business hiring status quo.
You are continually working, striving to bring onboard the best possible employees. Fortunately, you have already realized December is one of the better times of the year to find that true jewel of a worker who can help propel your company to the next level.
- Avoid desperation and the thoughts of desperation – both theirs and yours
Honestly, it is very easy to think of someone who jobs hunts during the holiday season as desperate. They realize, if anything, that they need a job to at least pay for Christmas, which can bring on a host of prejudice toward why this person might be looking for a job to “fix things,” and not necessarily be part of a successful business venture.
As a hiring manager, it is up to you to be careful of these types of so-called “candidates.” Worry, fear and anxiety are what propel their need for employment, not dedication, curiosity, a desire for success, and an overall interest in the company. In short, to hire them will more than likely be a huge mistake on your part. At that rate, you may as well be at home, decorating the Christmas tree.
Conversely, you need to prove to your holiday job search candidates that you, as well as your company, are not desperate as far as hiring a job candidate is concerned.
Treat this candidate’s interview as you would any other interview throughout the year. Ask comprehensive questions about this candidate’s experiences and ability to fulfill the job. Show confidence and well-thought-out seriousness regarding the open position and your efforts to find the correct person for that position.
The interview should not entail an end-of-year hiring which gives you only until December 31st to find the right person. The interview involves a long-time career move that requires you to show equally as much interest in as your candidate.
While everyone else is caroling, wrapping gifts, stuffing their guts and having drinking contests with their liver, you are opting to stay on the job and make the best of your hiring efforts. Even at years end, this will show your sense of dedication and passion for your company, particularly when trying to onboard the perfect job candidate.
At the same time, you can rest assured that in all likelihood you will only receive the perfect or near-perfect candidate as it becomes increasingly apparent that only the most serious candidates among those job seekers search for jobs during the year-end holidays when no one else is.
It is a win-win that will eventually play out with the best gift of all; positive recognition from your company for a recruiting job well done.
See the following articles for more information:
- How Google for Jobs Will Impact the Recruitment Industry
- Humility and Other Characteristics to Have in the Recruiting Process
- What Do Recruiters Look for in a Resume at First Glance?
Chart source: Google Trends