The holiday season can cause many routine business operations to slow down or even come to a complete standstill. For many operations, this includes recruiting and onboarding new employees. When you’re in need of new talent at key positions, however, you don’t have the luxury of taking a holiday hiring hiatus.

We all like to use the holiday season to get in some much-needed relaxation and reflection, but at the same time, ensuring your team is ready for the challenges and opportunities of the fast-approaching new year is crucial. That’s why we’ve put together this trio of highly actionable tips to help you make the most of this so-called unproductive season when it comes to recruiting and hiring.

This year, instead of cringing away from the idea of trying to work on hiring during that quiet stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, use the uniquely peaceful holiday atmosphere to your advantage and take the opportunity to get a new perspective on your hiring and recruiting challenges.

  1. Strengthen Your Employer Brand

    We sometimes think of branding as an explicitly customer-facing concept, but that simply isn’t true. You also maintain a brand as an employer, and you build and shape this brand with every single interaction you have with an employee or candidate, like it or not. Instead of running from that fact or trying to justify your problem areas, lean into the concept of employer branding and turn your employer brand into one that attracts great talent and serves as a blueprint for other companies who want to do it right.

    A great place to start is by identifying some marketing principles that have worked well for your company and brainstorming how these same principles could be applied to recruiting new talent. Consider using the holiday lull to build or overhaul the “careers” page of your website, or consider launching an official social media group for your employees. Better yet, create a whole new section of your website that’s just for job seekers and current employees, which will give you a vast canvas on which to start developing brand elements.
  1. Reflect on the Past Year and Plan Some Productive “Me” Time

    Looking ahead is obviously important when it comes to identifying your staffing needs, but you can also take advantage of the quieter holiday period to assess the previous year’s recruiting efforts (and where they fell short). After all, you probably wouldn’t be trying to find new employees around Christmas time if every hire you made last year had been a home run. Think about what decisions you could have made differently in the past year to improve hiring outcomes, both personally and at an organizational level. If you’re a HireScore user, make sure all of your cycles for the year have up to date information about who was hired. This gives HireScore important information that will make your hiring decisions better over time.

    Instead of focusing all of your energy outward and hoping you will somehow stumble across the perfect new staff member if you simply look hard enough, turn some of that inward as well. Once you’ve identified some areas in which you can do better, do actual work towards improving them. Set aside some time for simple activities that can beef up your own abilities: have a “touchbase” call with your HireScore Project Manager, participate in online communities for hiring and recruiting professionals, attend an online seminar, find a continuing education event to sign up for, learn the ins and outs of a department you don’t usually work in, or take some time to evaluate and fine-tune the systems you rely on for your hiring processes.

  2. Predict Future Talent Needs

    During our end-of-year “housekeeping,” we can sometimes get caught up in the simplistic idea that we need to replace any employees we’ve lost, but staffing needs change, and staff members don’t always need to be replaced on a one-for-one basis. While technology may make one role obsolete, growth in your business might create opportunities for staff expansion in a totally different area.

    The end-of-year break naturally provided by the holidays makes a good opportunity for re-evaluating whether or not your human resources are being deployed in the most effective way. Start from scratch by making a list of crucial roles that need to be filled for your business to operate, then compare how that aligns with your actual staff structure and ask yourself why.

HireScore: Highly Effective Hiring Tools for All Seasons

By using smart strategies like these and bolstering them with innovative technology like the HireScore platform, you can come back from your holiday to a well-assembled staff that’s ready to succeed in the new year and beyond.