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December 02, 2019

The time period between late November and New Year's Day is the time with the lowest level of recruiting competition. So, if you're thinking about hiring in 2020, December should be viewed as a golden recruiting opportunity.

Whether your business is in Manufacturing, Engineering, Construction or Sales; smart firms that actively recruit during this low competition time can successfully land new staff of amazing quality.  You will have far less chance of hiring high calibre staff when demand for talent is traditionally higher and there are increasing job positions available at the beginning of January.

Recruiting in December - The advantages
In this new era of data-based decision making in recruiting, smart businesses use data to identify the times when they have the highest probability of landing top-performing talent. And, if you run the data, you will find that December is the month with the lowest recruiting competition.

There are many advantages for recruiting in December, here are some:-

1. New Year, New Start? 

At the end of the year, many people contemplate their current job. Forward-looking employed individuals will still invariably spend at least some time during the weeks before the end of the year re-evaluating their current work and life situation and rethinking whether they want to spend another year in their current job. Smart firms can take advantage of that questioning time period and be one of the few that proactively propose a new opportunity to these "not-actively-looking" individuals.

"I need more money!" 

The Christmas season means extensive shopping, travel, and Christmas party expenses. As a result, many individuals realise that they need a job which pays more! If your organisation's salaries are significantly higher in your sector than your competitors, December recruiting provides your firm with an opportunity to attract those who are having money issues. In addition, if you're recruiting sales people and other jobs where year-end bonuses are paid out during December, you will find that December is the top month for moving on in these kinds of jobs.

Recruiting is a no-no for some organisations during December.

A few firms completely shut down operations the last two weeks of December. Whilst other firms place complete hiring freezes in effect toward the end of their fiscal year. And as a result, these recruiting competitors literally offer no competition to those organisations that are smart enough to recruit during December. With no headcount, throughout December there will be zero head-to-head recruiting competitions with your firm.

Take advantage of your competitor recruiter's being preoccupied. Most hiring managers and recruiters are distracted by Christmas shopping, parties, and family needs. As a result, they devote significantly fewer hours to recruiting. This lack of attention stretches out the time before an offer can be made. So, even if a major firm does post jobs, fast-moving firms can capture top candidates before most other firms get around to making a hiring decision during December and into January.

Available headcount is minimal for talent within competitor firms — If you have the available headcount, your firm will have only limited competition because most top firms won't have available headcount until January 2nd (after January 2nd, your odds of winning a single head-to-head competition might sink to zero). Whereas, even large firms can't hire when their headcount is exhausted toward the end of their fiscal year. And since, many corporations' fiscal year ends in December, this will give you a head start. And, of course, with fewer jobs posted, your job role will have an improved chance of being noticed.

"Just popping out the office to see a client..." 

December is the easiest month to find an "acceptable excuse" for leaving the office and slip out for interviews. This is because so many employees routinely leave the office for a few hours using believable reasons like shopping, running errands, and Christmas parties. Because bosses are so accepting of excuses, it is relatively easy for candidates to make an excuse to get out of the office for either a long lunch with a recruitment consultant or a formal interview. 

Activity on social media is higher than ever, making it easier to contact potential new employees. Almost everyone is highly active on social media during Christmas. Your recruiting targets are constantly checking social media for messages from family and friends. As a result, there is an increased chance that they will see, read, and even respond to your recruiting messages.

Potential new employees may use their free hours during December to update their LinkedIn profiles or their CV's, so recruiters can use those updates as an alert that these individuals may be open to new opportunities.

The Christmas schedule is quieter. 

There are no industry conferences, important seminars, or other major corporate meetings scheduled during the Christmas period. As a result, top prospects are not preparing for them, so they have more available free time to consider job opportunities. Also, because many employees and even customers take time off during this month, many major projects are essentially forced into suspended animation.

Top-performing prospects also have more time for catching up on reading and learning, so candidates may be reading your employer branding materials for the first time during December. Many prospects also take their 'unused holiday' in December (because they may lose it at year's end).

And as a result, candidates are much more available for calls and interviews. Obviously, with few events and meetings scheduled, your recruitment consultants themselves also have more available time to make a strong "December push."

Identify a Recruitment Consultant who has experience within your industry.

In any competitive scenario, if you want to win more than your fair share of head-to-head competitions, go against the flow. If you're planning on recruiting in the 1st quarter of 2018, you should seriously consider "counter cycle recruiting." Instead of shutting down the recruiting function during December, put together a "December recruiting push" in order to get ahead of your competition. 

Focus your time on liaising and working with a knowledgeable recruitment consultant in your industry, who knows how to discreetly approach forward-looking individuals who, even though they  are in a current job, use December as a time to rethink their career path and their opportunities for the future.

And finally, understand that because it's "a season of giving," consultants are not intruding on potential candidates; instead, they are providing individuals with exciting opportunities that will change their lives.

This "gift of a new job" costs the individual nothing, but they and their family will receive great long-term benefits from it for years to come.

So, if you are planning on hiring in 2020, it will pay off next year if you seek out now a specialist recruitment consultancy in your sector and start to build that relationship, so you're ahead of the game in January and beyond. 

Precision's consultants are specialists in a number of fields including engineering, technical, and executive search - contact us today on 0116 254 5411 to find out how we can help you or email us on hello@precision-people.uk or use the contact us form.