“Is now a good time to recruit or should I wait until the new year?” That’s a question business owners and HR managers ask us every November and it’s due even more consideration now, given the disruption and business uncertainty we’ve seen in 2020.
Are candidates still applying for jobs before Xmas?
Historically, heading into December, we see application numbers drop. It does vary by industry and role: for example, graduate positions see applications surge in November but, in general, there are fewer candidates in November than January. November candidates often have contracts finishing at the end of the year or are not working at present, which means potentially fewer applications than you might expect at other times in the year when you have people looking to change jobs. However, a major advantage is that someone without a 4-week notice period can start faster and give you a head start on 2021.
Should I hire before Xmas?
If you have expansion plans or need to rebuild your team, timing is everything. The average hiring process can take up to 6 weeks by the time you advertise, interview, allow for notice periods, and then onboard. We recommend you start by asking yourself when you need your new hire to be ready to add value to your business.
If it’s January, then you need to start advertising now!
If you wait until January to kick off the campaign, it will be late February or even March before you have hired and onboarded. Advertising in November and potentially hiring before Xmas gets your team in place and ready to go as soon as business resumes in January.
What if I wait until January to start my campaign? What are the pros/cons?
Typically, January is when people come back from the Xmas break and think, ‘new year, new career’. As a result, January 31 has the highest number of resignations in the year and February is peak recruiting season as workers look for a change.
After the uncertainty of 2020 and the winding back of Job Keeper payments, in general, we expect a larger talent pool in the new year in many areas. On the flip side, you will be up against more competition from other employers in January, as there are more job adverts in that peak period too!
Whether your campaign runs in November or January, if you are looking for specific skills such as digital media, data analysis or healthcare, you will still need to reach passive candidates and give them a compelling reason to change employer.
Things to consider if you do advertise in November
When does the role start?
Do they get paid over the holidays?
If there is to be training or onboarding, will that happen this side of Xmas?
What holiday plans does their supervisor have?
Make your expectations clear in the advert and if you can offer paid leave across Xmas, that is a great selling point to stress in your advert.
Whilst this year has been different on many levels, whether you advertise in November or January, your ability to attract good candidates will depend on the quality of your recruitment advert and media choices. We are media and copy experts and offer free advice. Feel free to contact us.