4 Reasons Why Hiring During the Holidays is a Good Idea

by Megan McQuade

Hiring during the holidays can be challenging. Business hours are abbreviated, your internal key decision makers are likely taking time off. In addition, candidates most likely have the holiday lull in mind, and are holding off on the job hunt until recruiters are back in office. But it can offer some advantages. Here are 4 reasons why hiring during the holidays is a good idea:

The holidays can actually be a good time to hire if you have some crucial roles to fill. After all, business still presses on and work still needs to be done.

So, how can you use this time to your advantage? Read on for four reasons why hiring during the holidays is a good idea, despite what you may think.

  1. Get Ahead of Schedule

Take stock of previous years’ hiring trends and labor needs (if you don’t already). You’ll probably notice some trends that can help you better prepare for hiring during the holiday season. To better prepare for the uptick in business in January, hiring in November or December can ensure that your new employee is properly trained and ready to handle the first quarter of the year. For higher-level roles, you may want to consider starting the search even earlier than that.

Because some candidates are expectant of the rise in competition in January, they may also be planning ahead and getting resumes out early. In this case, you can be explicit in your description that you need to hire for December, and perhaps offer an incentive for people that can accommodate that. Keep in mind not everyone celebrates the same holidays and some job seekers would rather fill positions immediately, than wait weeks for January to come.

  1. Set Reasonable Expectations

The holidays need to be met with reasonable expectations. For example, if candidates are taking a little more time to get back to you than usual, give them the benefit of the doubt. They’re likely taking a digital break and spending time with family.

Additionally, take the same consideration with your own staff. Whether your people are on an end-of-year sales crunch or organizing seasonal fundraisers, they’re likely slammed. Accommodating internal schedules will help subdue any excess anxiety during the holidays.

  1. Take Advantage of Less Competition

Fewer companies are hiring during the holidays. With leadership at all levels of management in and out of the office to take time off, work typically slows down around this time and hiring budgets may be exhausted. That means less competition for you, especially in today’s strong economy where it’s a job seekers’ market and companies are competing for talent. The same goes for job seekers.

If you’re able to stay focused on your search during this admittedly hectic time of year, take the opportunity to do so. Things will pick back up again in January, when businesses get new budgets and job openings explode—increasing the competition for the best candidates. Monster.com concurs, “applications tend to slow down during the holiday season more than openings do — tipping the balance in favor of those who do apply.”

  1. Get Networking

Networking is one of the best ways to take advantage of hiring during the holidays. There are likely numerous events happening in your area. And what better time than this oh-so-festive season?

A laid-back networking environment at holiday functions can connect you with potential candidates who may not yet be formally searching for opportunities. You also get the benefit of individuals passing on the message that your company is hiring to friends, colleagues, and family who may be wonderfully suited for the role. Another great perk is the ability to screen a large number of candidates before the interview process starts, saving you time.

If your company continues business as usual during the winter months, there’s no need to follow the “hiring freeze”. Give potential candidates more flexibility in their response times with the understanding that they have other obligations during this busy season. Remember to emphasis your desire for immediate talent and if needed, provide additional incentive for a speedier start date. Hiring during the holidays can be made to your company’s advantage by just going against the grain!

  1. – Article By Megan McQuade