by Eileen Moloney, Head of Marketing at Brightwater
It’s easy to assume that employers down tools when it comes to hiring in December and yes, for some that is the case. For the majority however, they’re planning to hit the ground running the following January so hiring activity is still strong. Neither employers nor job seekers should discount the month simply because of the festive season at the end. There are plenty for reasons to start the hiring and/or job searching process in December.
The fiscal year ends on December 31st and many companies reduce hiring budgets for the following year if they’re not used up by the end of the year. While employers don’t expect new starters to come on board until the New Year, job contracts can be signed, sealed and delivered before Christmas Day, just in time for both of you to relax and enjoy the festive season! From a hiring perspective, it means employers will be heading into the New Year a jump ahead of their competitors and with the headcount they need to get the year off to a flying start.
Lots of people put their job hunting on hold until January simply because they want to wait until after Christmas is over or they don’t want to risk their annual bonus. However there is no harm in starting the job search as soon as possible. From a job seeker’s perspective, this simply means that there will be less competition for roles. Get ahead of the curve and start applying now. Reach out to recruiters and/or hiring managers. These conversations may not bear immediate fruit but could put you in pole position come January when they start shortlisting candidates.
Increased social media presence
Workloads become lighter in the majority of sectors as the year tapers to a close so there is more time for job seekers to browse online which means more visibility on social media channels. It’s a terrific opportunity for employers to leverage social platforms to promote their organisations and their current vacancies. With ever changing algorithms, these sites can target the most receptive of users which in turn will help find the best candidates.
Staff turnover does increase in the first few weeks of every year as people make New Year resolutions about their career or receive their end of year bonuses. The wiser employers should anticipate that this may happen and already be looking for ways to (a) market themselves to new candidates looking to make a move and (b) have the ball rolling on adding new headcount so that their productivity doesn’t fall in the event of their existing staff handing in their notice.
As a job seeker, the Christmas season and time away from the office, virtual or otherwise means that individuals now have plenty of time to look over their CVS CV and add in skills / experience that they may have gained in the last 12 months. They also have plenty of time to polish up their personal branding on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. Make sure your LinkedIn profile shows you in the best possible light for the jobs you want! Take a look at jobs boards and get the ball rolling.
On the employer’s side, a lot of HR projects are completed by the last quarter so by December, they have the time to really focus on recruitment plans and interviewing processes. Being able to take the time to collaborate with other departments to analyse their recruitment needs will pay dividends in the future. Getting a full and accurate job specification in December means a smoother and shorter interviewing process in January or even better, getting the whole process wrapped up in a festive red bow by January 31st.