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Have you always heard that December is a slow month for recruitment?
Many businesses are winding down now for the Christmas season, or distracted with looming end-of-year deadlines and annual leave bookings. Naturally, this means that people often think their job search is now “on hold” until January. Many hiring managers tell us that they are now leaving things until the New Year.
Obviously, it’s not quite the December we’re used to right now. A lot of us have experienced dampened spirits this year as Christmas parties and entertaining has been cancelled or curtailed to take heed of Government recommendations. We’ve also returned to remote working full time. This doesn’t mean that the Christmas break starts now – there’s still plenty of work to do, and your recruitment strategy is no exception.
Christmas is no time to stop recruiting
We’ve never understood why more people don’t take advantage of the Christmas season and up the recruitment ante rather than opt to slow things down. There are so many reasons why now is absolutely the perfect time to recruit, and why Christmas is no reason to be slowing down on your talent acquisition. Here’s just a few of them:
1. Fewer jobs to compete against
Unless you’ve been living in a vacuum, you’ll already know that there’s a jobs boom in the UK. Recruiters have a tough job filling vacancies, and there are more jobs than suitable candidates. According to the Office for National Statistics, UK job vacancies rose to a new record of 1,219,000 in September to November 2021. If you think December is a slow recruitment month and it’s time to slow down, so do your competitors. So why not take advantage of a quieter market and stand out in the highly competitive labour market?
2. January is a recruitment frenzy
On the flipside of a quieter December is the January recruitment push. Candidates head into the new year with polished CVs and a list of hopeful resolutions. Hiring managers approach the new year with a new budget, ready to snap them up. But why follow the crowd? The increased market activity only dilutes your advertising and your candidates’ attention.
3. Not everyone celebrates Christmas
It’s crazy that in 2021 (almost 2022) we need to state the obvious. With an ongoing focus on diversity, it would be remiss to not acknowledge that Christmas is not celebrated by all. Though it is almost universally recognised as more than a religious occasion, any recognition of the holiday by non-Christians varies in intensity. If there are arguments that closing down business activity over Christmas for all employees irrespective of their faith or whether they observe Christmas is ‘indirect discrimination’ then presuming that nobody is interested in a new job because of a religious holiday they may not celebrate definitely is.
4. Many candidates have increased availability
At the end of the year, many people are taking time off to use up the last of their holiday entitlement. In brighter times, when we are all still in the office, an extended lunch in December wouldn’t be unheard of. There’s generally a more relaxed atmosphere at work in December, and if we were to be in the office it’s generally easier for people to nip outside for a phone conversation. Of course, now those of us who can are being asked to work from home again, there’s even more reason to keep up the search for candidates. This time is a welcome Christmas gift to the recruitment market.
5. More time to think
Most businesses plan in December to have fewer critical projects to work on. With a slower pace, job seekers have more time to evaluate their current circumstances and their options. Our thinking often switches at this time of year to evaluate the year behind us and look forward to the future. With time to consider options and think about the coming year and their goals, many people are thinking now about whether they still want to be in their current role come January. Recruiters should strike while the thoughts are fresh.
6. You’re likely to have more recruiting to do in January
Especially in this current climate, with so much movement in the jobs market, it’s highly likely that you will have positions to fill come January. Be proactive rather than reactive in this scenario. The pandemic caused a seismic shift in the labour market, with more people than ever at one time considering moving on from their current roles. It should be every business’s priority to fill the vacancies they have now – waiting could see you with critical gaps in your teams.
Can we help?
It’s always business as usual in December here. With unprecedented levels of market fluidity, we don’t have time to rest on our laurels. Can we help you to ensure your current recruitment needs are taken care of over the festive season and beyond into 2022? Contact us to find out how we can work together.