“It’s December. Ah well, that’s my job search prospects gone for the next month.”
Amongst the many recruitment myths, possibly one of the most widespread is that December is an awful month if you are looking for a job. While activity may well take a dip, you can be sure that recruiters and HR departments are not twiddling their thumbs. If they can find the right person for the right role, they will, and December can actually still be a great month for finding a job. Here are a few of the key considerations:
Decreased competition in December means increased visibility
It is undeniable that companies do generally start every year with a bang in their recruitment activity. Budgets are released for recruitment, and many HR departments do take a breath before the frenzied activity. Many candidates won’t start looking until January so that they can get more “bang for their buck” regarding their time invested, but this means less competition for the roles that are out there. In a hyper-competitive market, this advantage can sometimes make all the difference.
People are mentally ready for a change
People’s minds turn to the next year well before January 1st. Company leaders already know what they want to achieve in the next year and they, therefore, know which resources are required to achieve them. If someone comes along who can help make that happen, they will be itching to get a head start on the change process.
If a candidate can get in front of the right person in December, their hiring headspace is a lot clearer than it is in the hustle of January.
Current jobs don’t go on hold – recruitment never sleeps
In many industries, there is a dearth of suitable talent, and there will always be numerous open roles over the December period. Interestingly, the recruitment process in December can actually be highly efficient. Interviewers potentially have more time on their hands and candidates also may be more available. If some of these roles have been open for a while, the pressure to fill them before the influx of new offers in January is significant.
Companies snap up talent before their competitors
When the majority of senior talent is approached directly for roles, the misconception that they are “not on the market” is thrown out of the window. If someone is considering starting to apply for jobs in early January, they are unlikely to turn down a direct approach in mid-December. If all of the boxes are ticked, most candidates will be happy to start the recruitment process “early.”
In the war for talent, recruiting in December gives a hiring company a unique first mover advantage.
You can hit the new year running, rather than “still recruiting”
Wanting to get a head start on your competition is as natural as wanting to snap up a bargain, and both of these factors are reasons why recruiting activity in December will always be significant (and definitely not comatose). Yes, the volume of deals won’t be there, but top-quality candidates won’t be on the market for long. If an A-Player becomes available on December 10th, you can be sure that they won’t be available on January 1st.
If you are a candidate or a recruiter, we hope that you have a profitable December!
This article was originally published on Dec 01, 2016 and updated Dec 04, 2018