Is the Start of the Holiday Season The End of the Hiring Season?
by Ken Schmitt and Vicky Willenberg
The Halloween candy is beginning to thin-out. Snack sized candy bars are gone. Peanut Butter Cups have been consumed. Scattered pieces of gum and a few Twizzlers are all that remain. This can only mean one thing… The Holiday Season is officially upon us.
Around Mid-November there seems to be a certain feeling of “slowing down” that falls upon the professional world. While many employers might be scurrying to wrap up loose ends and finalize projects before the close of the fiscal year, employees expect “Let’s address that after the New Year” to be the response to any new projects- especially hiring.
The wise job seeker, however, does not push their job search to the New Year. While others are trimming their tree, the active or even passive job seeker should be trimming his resume and LinkedIn Profile because this is the most wonderful time of the year to ramp-up your job search.
According to CNNMoney “69 % of recruiters surveyed said they place as many or more candidates” in December than any other month. Professionals have come to believe that holiday vacations and zero-balance budgets make this time of year less than ideal for actively engaging in a job search. While this might have been true years ago, for many reasons, December is the perfect time to pound the snow-covered pavement and take the necessary steps to secure a new position.
5 reasons the Holiday Season is Job Search Season
- Recruiters are fighting hard to fill searches before year’s end. While many companies are experiencing the Thanksgiving-to-New-Year slowdown, recruiters know that carrying a search into the New Year often kills the momentum. Trying to reconnect with potential candidates after the holiday break feels like starting from scratch as everyone returns to their normal schedules. Use this to your advantage! Actively network with recruiters you know and seek out those working on searches you are interested in.
- Money, Money, Money! The current budget may be at $0, but next year’s budget is in place. Knowing what they have to work with come January 1st, getting a head start in November and December will allow hiring managers to hit the ground running, extending job offers as the holidays wind down, with start dates in early January. In addition, cutting back on taxable operating profits and investing in recruiting fees is a smart use of the remaining budgets.
- You will be the shining star on top of the company tree. The myth that companies virtually shut down in December, stops many people from even attempting to invest in their job search. But not YOU! You’ve done your research and you know that while the holiday networking opportunities abound, the hiring manger’s phone is very quiet. This means your call will ring loud and clear! Stand out and shine as a candidate who isn’t putting off his/her job search until the New Year.
- The holiday season is the social season. Sending a card to a company you’ve interviewed with in the past or offering a “happy holidays and good wishes for a new year” to a hiring manager are the perfect ice breakers. Connecting over the holidays is natural and feels less “salesy,” allowing you to reestablish contact authentically, bringing your name (and your resume) to the minds of those doing the hiring.
- Many offices are closed regardless of what holiday you celebrate; so why not use some of that time off to tighten up your resume and LinkedIn Profile? Make sure your experience is current, update the verbiage to reflect hiring trends and job requirements, reach out to colleagues through LinkedIn and refresh that summary!
November is in full-swing and we are fast approaching the height of the holiday season. Don’t let vacation days and holiday parties derail your job searching efforts. While some will say goodbye to 2014 unwrapping gifts, you could be welcoming 2015 by unwrapping the perfect Job Offer.
**Employers, as you deck your halls this season, be sure to trim your tree and re-engage your teams using the holiday season as a springboard to reignite the passion and excitement among your employees. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a stocking full of resignations!
About the Authors
Ken Schmitt is the President and Founder of TurningPoint Executive Search and the Sales Leadership Alliance. Specializing in placing sales, marketing and operations professionals across the country, Ken’s 16 years of recruiting experience have equipped him with the knowledge to serve as a thought partner to his clients for all recruiting, hiring and human capital-related initiatives. Ken sits on the board of Junior Achievement, the American Marketing Association, the San Diego HR Roundtable and is an Advisory Board Member for San Diego Sports Innovators (SDSI).
Vicky Willenberg has served as the Social Media Manager for TurningPoint since 2011. In 2014, she was elevated to Digital Marketing Manager, broadening her participation across all things digital for the firm. A former teacher with a Masters in Education, Vicky is an active and published blogger at The Pursuit of Normal and a marketing professional. She has her finger on the pulse of the latest trends in the recruiting, hiring and leadership sectors.