Why the December Holidays Are Great for Recruitment

Dec 18, 2013

productivity - freeYears ago a recruiting colleague of mine and I had a difference of opinion.

We placed in exactly the same specialty niche, but we disagreed about which time of the year was the most productive for our business. He thought that the end of the year was the best for making placements. I thought the summer was best. So, he always made placements during the winter months and I did not. And I always made placements during the summer months and he did not. It wasn’t our niche that was operative here—it was our perception. We were living the life of self-fulfilling prophecies.

Now when recruiters call to ask my thoughts about shutting it down for the December holidays, I always relate that story. I remind them that salaries are still being paid and interviewing is still taking place. And then I add what I remember of an article I read some years ago discussing the reasons why recruitment flourishes during this time of year:

1.  Many of your client companies must spend their recruitment budgets before the year runs out. This is either because they can’t carry these budget dollars over to the New Year or their recruitment budgets may decrease during the following year when, during planning time, they are matched to what they spent, or failed to spend, in the current year.

2.  Many clients and candidates like to tie up loose ends before the year ends.  If openings exist, the hiring managers want to fill them. The “fresh start” mentality grows in popularity at this time of year.

3.  Many clients with expansion plans in the New Year are giving out job orders now. In any event, you will glean information from them as to what they are going to be looking for once their hiring plans are approved.

4.  Often, employees for many reasons (year-end bonuses are finally paid and bonus checks cashed; no bonuses; etc.) choose this time of year to quit. They will be able to give their two-week notices and be with their families over the holidays with the goal of looking for a new job at the beginning of the year. This turnover will create new openings.

5.  Often your competition, believing that there is no recruitment business between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, mentally (and sometimes physically) leave the marketplace. This is a time to keep running so that by the time your competition gets back in the race they find themselves miles behind you.

6.  Just because it is the holiday season, business activity doesn’t change.  Interviewing takes places. Hiring takes place. Turndowns and counteroffers take place. Believe it or not, it is business as usual. Good business never takes a break.

Now, if all of my convincing above hasn’t motivated you to pick up the phone and market and recruit, here are a few non-phone “busy work” projects that you can also do in the office:

  1. Organize your desk.
  2. Organize your general files.
  3. Do some Internet research.
  4. Update your candidate files.
  5. Update your client files.
  6. Search for new candidate and client company leads.
  7. Clean out your files; delete often.
  8. Catch up on correspondence.
  9. Organize your marketing plan for New Year.
  10. Plan ahead for the first quarter of the New Year.
  11. Increase your prospective client company base.
  12. Reactivate your old candidates.
  13. Listen to your audio training tapes.
  14. Watch your video training tapes.
  15. Go over your written training material — improve your skills!!
  16. And, if you get to this number, do what my Dad always recommended, call your managers and ask them for more suggestions!

Happy Holidays everyone… and let’s all have a productive rest of the month!!

Image: basketman /

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