“We’re not hiring until the New Year” – 4 reasons this strategy may not be the most competitive

By John Whitehead

Published on 15-11-2016

Christmas talent strategy

With only 60 days until Santa climbs aboard his sleigh to deliver presents to over two billion children around the world (a route so complex that it would give even the largest logistics’ and supply chain businesses a run for their money), the recruitment market braces for the frantic hiring spree that occurs at the beginning of every year. After several years of witnessing this cycle I had to start asking my clients some questions.

“Does leaving your talent search until January ensure your team gets the best start to the year?”

Or perhaps more importantly, “Does this strategy get you the best talent?”

In my experience leaving your proactive search until after the Christmas break can be risky as top talent may already be engaged with competitors, who wanted to get ahead of the talent curve.

If this is your talent strategy here are four reasons to reconsider:

1. Timing

People typically have more free time to search and engage in conversations with prospective employers, in the lead up to and during the Christmas period, without raising eyebrows or receiving loaded questions from current managers.

2. Social Media

There is an uptake in social media activity around November and December because of the increase in social time and holidays. Meaning targeted job ads and content that show a potential employer’s value proposition are more visible. This makes optimisation for mobile essential so people can easily apply, respond or engage via their smart device.

3. Culture fit

It can be difficult to align social compatibility during a professional interview process. The Christmas period offers a great opportunity for businesses to involve new recruits in the various social activities, showing them ‘behind the scenes’ before kicking off their new career in January. There is also evidence which shows talent is less likely to change their mind or accept a counter offer during the extended break, if they feel truly embedded in the company.

4. Starting fresh

Recruiting at the end of year isn’t just about getting ahead of the competition (although that is one compelling reason), it also means your newly appointed team member enters the new year with a clear and concise plan. They start their new role after a break (something we always encourage) ensuring they are fresh and ready for their new challenge.

Generally speaking, making the decision to hire before the Christmas break gives you a competitive advantage. While the majority of your competitors are focused on everything but recruitment, leaving next year’s recruitment drive on the back burner, you can be meeting top talent and forging your recruitment strategy to get ahead in 2017.

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