Ten Good Reasons to Keep Recruiting In December

16 December 2020 Brijesh Mongia

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​If you work in an office, you realize that many times the Christmas season can be less hectic and even a slack period.

In most cases everyone — including recruiters — gear down and change their work patterns for the holidays. But if you’re a corporate recruiting leader, December should be viewed instead as a golden opportunity. It is a prime recruiting month (along with January and June) because many employed prospects have free time to consider a new job due to their own reduced workloads.

The end of the year is also a time where many individuals are reevaluating their current work and life situation and planning for the future. You may be skeptical, but here are 10 reasons why corporate recruiting leaders should actually ramp up recruiting during the holiday season.

Less Recruitment Competition

So, you think December is a slow month for recruitment and you shouldn’t bother?  Many of your competitors think the same way.  While they decide to slack-off, you should actually up to your game.  Your job adverts will face little direct competition.  Candidates who are searching are more likely to read your advert and potentially apply.  There is a highly competitive fight between organisations to attract the best talent.  If the opposition decides not to show-up there is only one winner!  The other option is you delay until the January recruitment frenzy.  Who doesn’t love fighting tooth and nail to attract candidates who suddenly have their pick of hiring organisations!  Use the weaker market as an opportunity for easy gains.

Not Everyone Celebrates Christmas

In this richly diverse world of cultures and religions, it is apparent that not everyone celebrates Christmas.  In some cases, it is recognised but not celebrated with the same intensity that others do.  Therefore, one should acknowledge individual differences and keep the recruitment processes flowing to engage with these candidates.   I cannot think of an organisation that doesn’t want to attract applications from candidates that add diversity to their workforce.

Candidates Have Increased Availability

Job seekers will find it easier to speak to recruiters, to attend interviews, and to escape from the office during December.  They may be using the last of their annual holiday entitlement before the year ends.  They are unlikely to be going away on long business trips or business expos.  There can be fewer business-critical projects occupying their mind and their desk.  Therefore, they have more flexibility and can be more open to meeting for an interview.  It is even said that December is the “easy-excuse month”.  Line managers are more easy-going and flexible over people leaving the office early or having an extended lunch break.

Candidates Are Considering Their Options

Hard to believe it….but in this cold, bleak commercial world – money talks.  December is an expensive month.  Some candidates start mulling whether their current salary reflects their market value.  Others have already decided they are leaving, but they are just waiting for their year-end bonus before handing in their notice.  It is not always about money.  Some candidates simply feel with a new year close it is time for a new job and as such start to look around.

You Could Be About to Experience A Reduced Headcount

I don’t want to burst your bubble, but point 4 applies to you in other ways.  Unfortunately, you may have employees in the business who are about to resign for any of the above reasons.  That means if you sit back across December, come January you could be in a whole world of pain. You may be recruiting considerably more staff than you were in December.  Therefore, common sense dictates that in the recruitment world (which is incredibly reactive) you should be trying to close off as many projects as possible because you do not know what is around the corner.

Social Media Activity Peaks

December is a key time when candidates start to reach out across social media to friends, colleagues, and clients.  They are doing online shopping, passing on festive messages, and sharing posts and pictures. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are awash with festive messages. This gives hiring organisations a fantastic opportunity to push their employer branding to a target audience that is more receptive than normal.

Candidates Want A Job Before Christmas

We can all have ‘must-do’ projects and imaginary deadlines that involve Christmas.  Some candidates will have set themselves the goal that they have to find a job before Christmas.  It can again be fuelled by financial need or a simple dissatisfaction in their current circumstances. Regardless December can be an awesome time to consider engaging employees on temporary contracts with the view of bringing back the best in January.

Hiring Managers Have Improved Flexibility

Many HR Manager' main issues are actually trying to manage the diary of hiring managers.  They seem to have so little availability to meet candidates for interviews it borders on disinterest.  Pinning them down for a decision after an interview can prove to be mission impossible.  It shouldn’t be like that, but recruitment is simply not their main priority.  Come December though, they can actually be available.  They usually grasp the importance of making a decision before the end of the year.  In short, they are more responsive.  What was once slowing the recruitment process is suddenly more engaged with it.

Better Inductions for New Starters

Most organisations return to work on the 2nd of January fired-up and wanting to make things happen.  What better than having fresh blood in the organisation already champing at the bit and wanting to make their mark alongside established colleagues? Inductions are a great moment in the candidate onboarding process.  If you have the capacity to do them in December you will see the business results in the new year.

It’s an opportune time to plan and to improve the function

Even if you decide not to ramp up your recruiting effort during December, the slack period is an ideal time to work on your strategic recruiting plan. It’s also a great time to review your year-end metrics and to implement process improvement efforts. In particular, you should focus your planning on taking advantage of the mobile platform, the LinkedIn platform, and developing predictive analytics that makes it easier for recruiting to take identify and then take advantage of upcoming talent opportunities.

Adapted from: The Recruitment Lab