In the winter months, it’s easy to get lost in various end-of-year aspects of running a busy recruitment department. Before you take off early for the holiday, consider that this is actually an opportune time to do some extra recruitment outreach that can help start the New Year strong in terms of the candidate pipeline.
Winter recruitment advantages
December and January offer some of the best opportunities for talent acquisition. According to Dr. John Sullivan, author and internationally known HR thought-leader, there are several reasons this time of year is primo for recruitment efforts that can pay off later. Sullivan writes at ERE Media that:
- Larger competing firms have fewer openings at the end of the fiscal year, and some companies don’t do any hiring at all in December. Therefore, it’s easier to get in front of quality candidates.
- Candidates, even passive ones, are more likely to be thinking about switching careers if they are unhappy about their current job.
- Hiring managers at bigger firms are probably taking time off for the holidays, which means hiring decisions are dramatically slowed down. An active recruiter can make job offers and get people on board during this time.
- Higher level candidates are putting off projects that suck up their attention, and also taking time off from work, therefore they have more time to consider other career opportunities.
- Candidates can also come up with more excuses because it’s the holiday months and things ‘come up’ that calls them away from the office. Interviews are easier to schedule during this time.
- People are going to be sharing more on social networks during the December and January months, and they may also be poking around to see who’s hiring.
You may also want to consider that holiday seasonal hiring has been up this year, and these folks will be looking for new jobs once their seasonal jobs end. Getting in front of them now can help them make the transition to a more permanent job once the busy season is over.
It’s been said that the more you can make plans and cross off your to-do list in the last 30 days of the year dictates how well your next year’s results will be. If you start relaxing your efforts now, you will lose out on capturing the attention of the top candidates who are open to new jobs.
How can you make the most of December and January recruitment efforts?
Kelly Laurenson contributes at Blue Octopus Recruitment Ltd. tips that candidates can use to land work at the end of the year. This can also be a guide for positioning yourself as a recruitment professional to attract talent.
Starting the day early
In the hiring game, the early riser has the advantage. First thing in the morning, it’s a good idea to be out there, reviewing candidate information and responding to applicants. Serious job seekers will be up before they have to head to their current job, and they will be checking their emails while on the train or reviewing mobile job apps as they sit in traffic.
Use a proactive approach
Only a small percentage of jobs are ever advertised, therefore candidates are instructed to send in general applications or a resume package to potential employers. As a recruiter, get your hands on these unsolicited candidate records and start calling them in for interviews.
Grab the first crop of applicants
Early applicants are generally those who read the job advertisement and immediately got excited about it, dropping everything else to apply. Consider this as you are seeking talent. If you can, get the first 25% of the applicants who have applied (use the time stamp if one is available) and start reaching out to them. Other candidates can also be considered, but not until these are exhausted.
Get active on social media
Job seekers are going to be spending a lot of time on social media, so as a recruiter it’s time to ramp things up there. Get your LinkedIn career groups engaged with fresh jobs and referrals. Get current employees sharing their success stories on social networks. Host a virtual job fair on your social media channels. Post new leads on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
These are just a few of the ways that recruiters can take full advantage of the winter months to boost recruitment results. Make a plan to focus on bringing in some outstanding candidates to share the fun and festivities of your corporate culture at this time of year. Host an open house at least once in December and January to get people excited about the potential of working for your company.
If you operate an agency, invite your best clients for a night of good food, music, and mingling with your top candidates. The end of the year can be a fantastic time to match people up with the perfect job, so make it your mission to maximize this time.