Many businesses (other than those in the retail space, of course) tend to slow down for the holidays, with some shuttering operations entirely for days at a time around Christmas and New Year’s Day. Even those offices that remain open throughout the jolliest of days tend to scale back on certain non-critical operations.
This can seem like a natural choice. With so many contractors and upper-level personnel taking time off, it is a challenging time to do business in general. People want to enjoy themselves or spend time with their families around the holidays. For this reason, recruitment and hiring are often one of the first areas non-retail companies will press pause on during the holiday hustle and bustle.
There is some logic to this lull. Nobody wants to spend Christmas Eve speed-reading resumes, and nobody wants to be bothered about a work-related opportunity while sleeping in on New Year’s morning, right? But as it turns out, hiring around the holidays can actually present organizations with a lot of unforeseen upsides.
Enjoy Less Competition
Some companies simply don’t hire at all in Q4 as a matter of policy. In holiday terms, this is analogous to your cousin who doesn’t like pumpkin pie—it means there’s more for you! Remember, just because many business owners in the United States and some other regions like to take time off for the winter holidays, that doesn’t mean the rest of the world stops turning. There are many qualified candidates out there who don’t celebrate winter holidays at all, for cultural, religious, or personal reasons, and if they need a new job, the time of year isn’t going to deter them. By posting open positions through the holidays, you increase the likelihood that they see yours.
Leverage Those New Year’s Goals
Don’t be so sure that nobody wants to be bothered with a work-related call around New Year’s. Many people work their career ambitions into those New Year’s resolutions, so a call from a prospective employer around the turn of the calendar can seem like a fateful sign rather than an annoyance. Candidates who are open to new opportunities around January 1 also tend to have great qualities for high-level staff. Taking the new year as an opportunity to focus on career goals can be a hint that the candidate is focused and goal-driven.
Catch People Mid-Transition
Many professionals who leave their jobs in a planned-out way will target the holidays as the right time to say farewell. This is a smart strategy because the employee may be able to combine their remaining PTO with vacation days to continue getting paid for a few weeks after leaving the office, and it also allows them to enjoy the holidays without any work-related pressure hanging over their head. This gives you a unique opportunity to reach them before they pick up their hunt for a new job in earnest (usually after New Year’s Day).
Find Fresh Graduates in the Hiring Pool
Students who graduate at the end of the winter semester without any job prospects in place are another great talent pool that also tends to wait until after the new year to really turn their focus to job hunting. By effectively marketing your open positions throughout the holiday season, you may be able to reach them first.