December can be seen as a terrible month to conduct recruitment activities. Everyone is winding down for the Christmas vacation, no one is job searching and employers are waiting for January before things become busy again.
I have never been one to just follow the crowd, but as I see it December can be a superb month to steal a march on your recruitment competitors and find some awesome talent to join your organisation. In this blog I’ll give you ten reasons why you should keep recruiting and you shouldn’t attack the mince pies…just yet.
Less Recruitment Competition
So, you think December is a slow month for recruitment and you shouldn’t bother? Many of your competitors think the same way. While they decide to slack-off, you should actually up your game. Your job adverts will face little direct competition. Candidates who are searching are more likely to read you advert and potentially apply. There is a highly competitive fight between organisations to attract the best talent. If the opposition decide not to show-up there is only one winner! The other option is you delay until the January recruitment frenzy. Who doesn’t love fighting tooth and nail to attract candidates who suddenly have their pick of hiring organisations! Use the weaker market as an opportunity for easy gains.
Not Everyone Celebrates Christmas
In this richly diverse world of cultures and religions it is apparent that not everyone celebrates Christmas. In some cases, it is recognised but not celebrated with the same intensity that others do. Therefore, one should acknowledge individual differences and keep the recruitment processes flowing to engage with these candidates. I cannot think of an organisation that doesn’t want to attract applications from candidates that add diversity to their workforce.
Candidates Have Increased Availability
Job seekers will find it easier to speak to recruiters, to attend interviews and to escape from the office during December. They may be using the last of their annual holiday entitlement before the year ends. They are unlikely to be going away on long business trips or business expos. There can be less business-critical projects occupying their mind and their desk. Therefore, they have more flexibility and can be more open to meeting for an interview. It is even said that December is the “easy-excuse month”. Line managers are more easy-going and flexible over people leaving the office early or having an extended lunch break.
Candidates Are Considering Their Options
Hard to believe it….but in this cold, bleak commercial world – money talks. December is an expensive month. Some candidates start mulling whether their current salary reflects their market value. Others have already decided they are leaving, but they are just waiting for their year-end bonus before handing in their notice. It is not always about money. Some candidates simply feel with a new year close it is time for a new job and as such start to look around.
You Could Be About to Experience A Reduced Headcount
I don’t want to burst your bubble, but point 4 applies to you in other ways. Unfortunately, you may have employees in the business who are about to resign for any of the above reasons. That means if you sit back across December, come January you could be in a whole world of pain. You maybe recruiting for considerably more staff than what you were in December. Therefore, common sense dictates that in the recruitment world (which is incredibly reactive) you should be trying to close off as many projects as possible because you do not know what is around the corner.
Social Media Activity Peaks
December is a key time when candidates start to reach out across social media to friends, colleagues and clients. They are doing online shopping, passing on festive messages, and sharing posts and picture. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are awash with festive messages. This gives hiring organisations a fantastic opportunity to push their employer branding to a target audience that is more receptive than normal.
Candidates Want A Job Before Christmas
We can all have ‘must-do’ projects and imaginary deadlines that involve Christmas. Some candidates will have set themselves the goal that they have to find a job before Christmas. It can again be fuelled by financial need or a simple dissatisfaction in their current circumstances. Regardless December can be an awesome time to consider engaging employees on temporary contracts with the view of bring back the best in January.
Hiring Managers Have Improved Flexibility
I have dealt with many HR Managers whose main issue is actually trying to manage the diary of hiring managers. They seem to have so little availability to meet candidates for interview it borders on disinterest. Pinning them down for a decision after interview can prove to be mission impossible. It shouldn’t be like that, but recruitment is simply not their main priority. Come December though, they can actually be available. They usually grasp the importance of making a decision before the end of the year. In short, they are more responsive. What was once slowing the recruitment process is suddenly more engaged with it.
Better Inductions for New Starters
Most organisations return to work on the 2nd of January fired-up and wanting to make things happen. What better than having fresh blood in the organisation already champing at the bit and wanting to make their mark alongside established colleagues? They can not do that if they need to join Derek for the health and safety orientation meeting in room 48, or they need to shadow a colleague for the day to learn what they do. This could have all been done in December when things were more relaxed. Inductions are a great moment in the candidate onboarding process. If you have the capacity to do them in December you will see the business results in the new year.
When Was Recruitment Part Time?
I have said it before, but recruitment is tough. You get out of bed each day to try and attract the best possible talent to an organisation. This should be done 12 months a year, not 10 or 11 because of national holidays.
In a world with record low unemployment, record high employment why would you ignore a moment in the year where some of your recruitment competitors are sleeping and you have a pool of receptive candidates out their seeking new opportunities. I think there can be nothing more satisfying being sat on the sofa come Christmas Eve knowing you have given everything in December. You have found some amazing candidates, have others in the pipeline and the New Year promises to get off to an amazing start for you and the business. If you are able to reached that point, then I promise that glass of wine and mince pie will taste all the sweeter!
About the Author
Simon Royston is the founder and Managing Director of The Recruitment Lab (A recruitment agency with offices in Aldershot and Brighton that offers employment services across Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and beyond). Simon lives in Guildford and has worked in Recruitment for over a decade. He has a degree and a masters in psychology as well as a diploma in Human Resource Management. If you would like to know more about anything written in this blog or would simply like to express your own thoughts and opinions do not hesitate to contact Simon through The Recruitment Lab website.