Now that Thanksgiving has officially come and gone, recruiters and candidates alike are reducing their efforts and creating an unnecessary hiring freeze at companies. Part of the reason why this happens is that there are many misconceptions about hiring during December, including recruiters assuming people are too busy to apply for open positions and applicants thinking recruiters opt not to fill jobs during this time.
In fact, when utilized properly December can be a great time for your hiring team to ramp up hiring efforts. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why and offer some suggestions as to how your team can get the most out of this opportunity.
Why Should Your Company Focus on Hiring in December?
While it may seem like recruiting between Thanksgiving and New Years is more effort than what it’s worth, there are some reasons why your recruiters should consider doing so.
Enter Q1 ahead of the game: Unlike companies which opt to halt hiring efforts until after January 1, if you hire during December all your new employees will be able to help your company start the year off strong. In fact, one company has found hiring during Q4 is actually more productive than any other quarter. This company found employees hired between Q1-Q3 were harder to integrate into the company, thus making less of an impact in their positions.
The best applicants will still be applying: Let’s be honest, great candidates who are determined to find their dream job aren’t going to stop just because of the busy holiday season. They’ll be able to work in applying to new jobs around all the other tasks that come with the holidays. People who apply for jobs during this time are usually organized, ambitious, and good at managing time, which are all qualities of a good employee. If your company decides not to hire during this period, it’s likely you’ll miss out on the perfect person for the job.
It’s a time of self-reflection: This time of year brings time for people to look at their life and evaluate any changes they might want to make to it. As a result, many great employees may come to the decision that they need a workplace change and start looking at the job boards. By making sure your team is actively recruiting during December, you’ll catch the attention of these candidates and attract them to your open positions.
Schedules can be a bit more flexible: December may be the best time to recruit for your company just for the fact that working hours may be a bit more flexible for both candidates and recruiters. The holiday season usually means less travel for conferences and fewer meetings for recruiters. For candidates, it’s usually a bit easier for them to get away from the office if they currently have a job as some bosses are a bit more flexible when it comes to holiday errands. Taking advantage of this time means you’ll be able to get more interviews done quickly.
Win the war for talent: Because it still is rare for a company to focus on recruitment during the month of December, you have the opportunity to scoop up great talent without your competitors even noticing it happened. You’ll be able to speak with great candidates without worrying that a competing company is doing the same thing and get them hired before your competitor even posts the job in January.
Now that you know why it’s important to make sure recruiting efforts don’t stall during the holiday season, you have to find tips on how to make the process as easy as possible. Fortunately, there are things you can do so you get the most out of your recruitment efforts while still enjoying the holidays.
How to Recruit and Have Time to Enjoy the Holidays
I understand, you don’t want to spend the entire holiday season in the office recruiting to try to take advantage of the suggestions above. This is the time of year where everyone should spend their free time with friends and family, not putting in extra hours. Luckily, there are ways to prepare for this time of year and some things your company can do to make it easier on the recruiters.
Make a plan: Despite all your efforts, it’s possible attempts to recruit during the holiday season just don’t materialize. That’s why it’s important to make a December recruitment plan before you start. Don’t be unrealistic with your deadlines, and be honest about where your efforts would be best utilized. If you have lots of open positions, active recruiting and performing interviews is the best option. If that’s not the case, brand management or connecting with potential candidates on social media may be the main part of your plan.
Invest in interviewing software: While recruiting, the majority of a recruiter’s time is usually spent organizing and performing either in-person or phone interviews. By choosing to use video interviewing software instead, you’ll be able to get through this process much quicker than usual. You’ll still be speaking with the same candidates, but the software makes it easier to identify high-quality people so your recruiters can limit the number of unqualified people they speak with.
Be as flexible as possible: As a recruiter, it’s important to find a balance of how long is appropriate to wait for a candidate to return your call before you give up on them. Most recruiters have a hard and fast rule about how long they should wait for a candidate to show interest in moving on in the recruitment process. If you stick to your rule, though, you may find candidates reaching out after you’ve already eliminated them, meaning you could miss out on a great hire. Because of how busy the holiday season is, it’s important to be a bit flexible with your timelines. Delays can become much more common, so if you’re OK with waiting a bit longer to hear from a candidate or only booking an interview after the holidays are done, that will make a huge difference when it comes to the candidate experience.
There’s no reason why your company should freeze hiring during December. In fact, for many companies it’s actually beneficial to hire at the end of the year. You should be taking advantage of the benefits this season allows while you have the chance and planning to ramp these efforts even more for the next holiday season.