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End-of-year recruitment | Should you hold off hiring until after the holidays?

Written by Danielle Fargnoli on 24 November 2023

As the year winds down, businesses often find themselves at a crossroads in the world of recruitment. Specifically, the question of whether to forge ahead with hiring in December or to wait until the dawn of the new year is a perennial dilemma that HR professionals grapple with.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of recruiting during the festive season. Is December the opportune time to snap up top talent eager for a fresh start, or does the allure of a January job search present a strategic advantage?

Recruiting in December: the pros

Recruiting in December can present a strategic advantage. With many businesses having already filled their vacancies or focused on year-end, there’s reduced competition for candidates. This lull in the hiring landscape translates into a unique opportunity for your organisation to stand out and secure top talent. With fewer companies actively recruiting, your outreach efforts are more likely to capture the attention of high-calibre candidates who may have been overlooked in busier hiring seasons.

Added to this, the run up to the New Year brings with it a natural period of reflection for many professionals. It’s a prime time for people to consider their careers and set resolutions for personal and professional growth. December can therefore be a strategic window to engage with candidates who are genuinely contemplating a change and open to new opportunities. What’s more, the holiday season can provide candidates with a break from the usual work routine, affording them the time and headspace to explore potential job openings.

The combination of reduced competition and increased candidate receptivity could make December an advantageous time for businesses to proactively reach out and connect with top talent, creating a win-win scenario for both organisations and potential hires.

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Recruiting in December: the cons

Of course, the regular operational rhythm of businesses is frequently disrupted in the final month of the year. Employee leave, coupled with a myriad of other competing year-end priorities, can contribute to a distinctly chaotic environment for recruitment in December.

In particular, the collective slowdown, as professionals take time off to celebrate with family and friends, can introduce logistical hurdles that may impede the smooth scheduling of interviews and the coordination of essential recruitment activities. Furthermore, the rush to box off any pending tasks may divert attention and resources from the hiring process, potentially compromising the thoroughness and efficiency of your recruitment campaign.

With this in mind, if you do decide to go ahead with a December recruitment drive, it’s crucial to allocate sufficient time and attention to prevent a negative candidate experience or dropouts.

So, would it be best to wait?

All things considered, our recruitment team would recommend utilising December for planning and advertising. This is an opportune time to set up your recruitment campaign and processes, advertise your role(s), and get your name out to candidates who may be looking to move.

Interestingly, LinkedIn reports that only 7.2% of vacancies are advertised in December, so aim to release your advertisements just before the Christmas break, as this is a prime time to stand out from competitors and reach prospective candidates first.

That way, upon your return in the New Year, you should have a pool of strong candidates waiting, who are energised and eager to explore new opportunities. Be sure to set aside time in January to give the recruitment campaign the time and attention is deserves so that you can capitalise on the momentum gained during December.

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Need specialist support?

If you require support with end-of-year recruitment campaigns, are seeking advice on outshining the competition, or need a helping hand to advertise effectively before the Christmas period, WorkNest’s specialist recruitment team is ready to assist.

To discuss your specific needs and see how we can work with you to achieve your recruitment aims, call 0345 226 8393 or request your free consultation using the button below.

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