In the world of hiring and recruiting, the summer months are sometimes looked at as a time of reduced hiring activity, with springtime and the turn of the calendar year conventionally seen as the times of the year when candidates are there looking for new roles. There is some logic to this—the idea of a summer break transcends almost every type of industry, after all.

In the modern employment landscape, however, observing this unofficial lull may not always lead to the best outcomes. When operations postpone their recruitment efforts until later in the year or even set their staffing or restructuring focus at the beginning of next year, they miss out on several potential advantages that the summer season can bring for landing top talent. The reality is that people’s lives are not all on a consistent, predictable schedule, and highly qualified candidates are out there looking for jobs year-round.

Here are some of the unique advantages you can leverage by ramping up, rather than slowing down, your hiring campaigns and onboarding activities this summer:

  • Less Competition – if your competition is still following an old-school policy of slowing down their hiring during the summer, this creates a unique opportunity for you to attract exceptional candidates. Contrary to popular belief, the summer months offer a distinct advantage for companies in terms of reduced competition for top talent. Of course, some job seekers also adhere to the misconception (or their lived experience) that says hiring slows down during this time, which can lead to a decline in applications and a bit of a vicious cycle. By actively promoting job opportunities during the summer, however, businesses can attract these high-quality candidates who are receptive to opportunities but not actively looking, as well as gather great applications from summer job seekers who are themselves strategizing and looking to stand out in a less crowded pool. In short, there are plenty of great summer candidates out there if you put in the effort to reach them. If you do so effectively, embracing the summer season will allow you to gain a competitive edge and secure top talent before competitors ramp their hiring efforts back up.
  • Making the Most of the Slow Season – Even operations that don’t deliberately plan to slow down their hiring activities during the summer can be affected by the season. Vacations and scheduling challenges at small and mid-size operations can drastically lengthen the job posting, interviewing, and onboarding processes due to waiting for one key person to get back from their family vacation. Even this disrupted pace can be leveraged strategically, however. Companies can use these longer wait periods to conduct more thorough evaluations of candidates, with in-depth assessments and comprehensive background checks, or simply by using the extended timeline to bring in more candidates than usual. All of this can lead to more thoughtful and deliberate decision-making and, in turn, better staffing outcomes. In this way, the slower summer pace actually enables hiring managers to invest more time in each candidate, leading to better hiring decisions and ultimately securing top talent for their organizations.
  • Making Summer Vibes Part of Your Employer Brand – While every season has its charms, the summer months are generally known for fostering a positive and relaxed atmosphere, which can be advantageous for hiring campaigns. In the summer, people are generally just in a happier, less stressed mood and more focused on enjoying and enriching their personal lives—or at least this is the perception when people think about the season. By capitalizing on this energy, businesses can create an engaging and appealing recruitment experience aimed at people who want to level up their lives (by way of their career situation) this summer. Lean into that summer feeling to showcase company culture and create a favorable first impression among your new hires.
  • Expand Networking Opportunities – With professionals in some key positions having more flexibility in their schedules or workloads, summer presents an opportune time to expand networking efforts and tap into a broader pool of potential candidates through having a presence at job fairs, community events, and industry conferences. Hosting your own events or networking sessions is another great way to achieve this, and in today’s remote-friendly employment culture, utilizing online platforms to connect with other professionals is an option as well.

All things considered, the annual summer “lull” in the business world actually offers unique advantages for strategic hiring. For more great recruiting tips and actionable insights into hiring, keep following the Stang Decision Systems blog.