Employers Are (Still!) Hiring • Just like any other part of the business, hiring still goes on late in the year. • Operations, mergers, production, orders, service, buyouts, and projects are always running in most companies. • In fact, some industries may even have more significant needs during the holiday season, as major transactions and deals are often negotiated during what others might consider downtime. • Back in my IT management and recruiting days, we focused more on January projects and planning for resource needs than holiday vacations.
Budget Requirements Must Be Met • Both end-of-year budgets and new-year headcount forecasting can drive hiring during the holiday season. • The typical hiring cycle for an executive can take weeks, if not months. • Employers anticipating the need for new sales leaders, for example, may need to initiate their hiring process by the end of the year to get a new hire onboarded by February.
Everyone Else Is Lying Low • Less competition from other candidates means less resumes clogging employer inboxes and Applicant Tracking Systems—and more attention for you. • Of course, you’ll want to focus on both applying and diligently following up with employers during this time. • While others are focused on the season, you can also get ahead of the hiring game by setting a Google alert for companies in your industry. • Signing a new contract, closing on an acquisition, opening a division, or releasing a new product are items to watch out for, as these activities can translate into a need for more employees.
Opportunities To Network Are Abundant • what other time of the year will you walk into a room full of company executives, partners, and other decision-makers? • You can, of course, research companies whose managers you hope to talk with, and mention industry happenings of shared interest during an event. • Although you shouldn’t monopolize a holiday gathering by talking shop, you can offer to meet for coffee or after-work activities—perhaps looking ahead to other professional events, industry conferences, or seminars during which you can connect.
Recruiters Are Staying Alert For Jobs And Candidates Alike • Like other businesses that don’t take a holiday, recruiters are particularly watchful for end-of-year hiring needs from their clients (employers). • Reach out with a short note on LinkedIn, send an e-mail with your resume, or give them a call to find out if their clients are in need of your talent. • Get a jump on the competition – and stay top-of-mind at your target employers – by ramping up your search during the end-of-year holiday season instead of waiting it out.