2021 is coming to an end, Christmas shoppers are beginning to brave the cold and the mass hysteria of last-minute bargains, children eagerly await Santa’s imminent tumble down the chimney shaft, jobseekers have finished perfecting their CV’s ahead of a relaxing holiday season, and employers brace themselves for the mad hiring spree that the new year will bring…
Many employers strategically plan out their hiring schedules and choose January to begin this process with gusto and renewed enthusiasm. In their eyes, candidates want to start the new year by applying for jobs, and so they prep their hiring managers accordingly to begin the interview process in January.
However, this could well be the wrong approach, and here’s why:
1. Your competitors are complacent
Since your competitors are starting to interview in January, December will bring a pool of talent that isn’t being engaged. They’re just wandering around, hoping to be picked up for their excellent array of skills – and you’re the only one looking for them. 2021 has certainly illustrated the skills shortage across many industries and especially in niche roles, the struggle to reach passive candidates is real. The latter stages of the year can be a fantastic time to engage with passive candidates that may have been out of reach earlier in the year.
Hiring in January will almost guarantee a battle for top talent, and in turn, you will need to be extra-competitive with your offering. It will leave you very little time to mull a candidate over as hiring decisions must be lightning quick. Instead, enjoy January, calmly conducting inductions and welcoming your new acquisitions while your competitors frantically try to find time to interview.
An added bonus is that arranging interview times should be a pretty straightforward process for the early birds, since it’s generally easier to grab an afternoon off work in December than in January. You don’t want to miss a great potential employee because their availability is limited.
2. It's a great time to get settled
If you hire someone to start in December, the lucky candidate will be starting at the best possible time; lots of festive cheer and therefore lots of social occasions to sink their teeth into and use as great introduction opportunities to integrate into company life smoothly.
Not only will your new hire be enthused after landing their dream job, but it’ll also take a lot of strain off the rest of the team; there’ll be more time for you to train the new hire and have them ready to jump in the deep end at the beginning of January. So, no teething problems that would negatively impact your other employees, potentially jeopardising the longevity of a new employee’s relationship with you and the team.
3. Get into the holiday spirit
Offering someone a job before Christmas not only makes for a great early present, but also gives them the gift of relaxation. A candidate who knows they are going straight into a new job after the Christmas break will be more relaxed, have more financial security and consequently will be refreshed and ready to hit the ground running in their first week with you.
The same benefit applies to employers, too – put your feet up and celebrate the satisfaction of crossing everything off your list and receiving a signed contract from a brilliant candidate.
This year has seen the real emergence of reviewing the way companies consider the wellbeing of their employees in the workplace. Allowing your hiring managers to make their hires earlier than the competition will allow them to spend their break recharging ready to take 2022 by storm, seeing them return to work reinvigorated and most importantly, happy!
4. With a new year comes new responsibility
We always have a lot on our plates in the new year. With a new year comes new responsibility and new tasks to add to our seemingly never-ending list – so the last thing that many hiring or training managers want is an added pressure in the form of a drawn-out hiring process. If you can get it done and dusted in December, you’re more likely to give it your full attention as the number of open tasks you’re working on will no doubt be dwindling. January is often a little too chaotic and driven to ensure that your hiring process gets the attention it deserves.
5. The proof is in the Christmas pudding
Some of our longest-standing clients have found over the years that hires starting between Q1-Q3 are slow to make an impact and are trickier to integrate. To avoid this, they complete the vast majority of their hiring in Q4, with very little activity throughout the rest of the year. By following this pattern, not only do they get the maximum business value out of new staff for a full business year come January, but they also get their pick of the best talent as other companies have slowed down their hiring.
When recruiting, timing is of utmost importance, from the point of view of both the hiring manager and the job seeker. Companies and candidates alike can benefit from counter cycle recruiting, which is the act of implementing a recruitment effort during quiet periods of the year, to take advantage of the lowered level of competition.
By going against the flow and searching for a job or recruiting while others are idle you benefit from the optimal timing that Q4 brings with it. Complete your interviews without pressure and cherry-pick candidates ahead of the competition. Picture this; a job offer is made and accepted, hands are shaken, mince pies are shared, and everyone goes away for their Christmas breaks.
If you’re currently thinking about your hiring strategy for 2022, now is the time to get the wheels in motion. Begin by identifying the roles you want to fill and reach out to our expert teams of recruiters. The impact come January will resonate throughout the year and is well worth the extra work before Christmas.