The benefits of recruiting before Christmas

By: Steve Oldroyd

Stop thinking about the office Christmas party that’s coming up, because December is prime time for snapping up talented staff. Yes really, despite the general perception that January is when everyone starts looking for new jobs, December can actually be far more rewarding.

If you’re planning to recruit more staff it would be logical to think that January is the time to start looking. And it’s true that many people will return to work after a Christmas break and make a New Year’s resolution to find a new challenge, so there’s certainly going to be plenty of available candidates. Equally, there’s likely to plenty of jobs on offer too, as companies see the New Year as a fresh start and the right time to recruit. And that means one thing – competition and the possibility of getting into a negotiating situation with an individual who has been offered another job as well. You may end up having to offer a higher salary than you’d planned in order to secure the person you want.

December is, traditionally, an altogether quieter month. You may well be winding down for the Christmas break, but this makes it a great opportunity for recruitment. You will perhaps have a little more available time in which to focus on the recruitment process, and less day-to-day pressure means it’s an ideal time to ease someone new into the business and train them in readiness to hit the ground running in January.

Access the full talent pool

With fewer employers recruiting this side of Christmas, a well timed recruitment push will mean you have access to a full talent pool of candidates, with the potential to take your pick and without the added risk of losing the candidate you really want or having to make more costly counter offers.

It really does make sense to be recruiting now. January is often when new targets are introduced, so it pays to be prepared in readiness for new initiatives, with the human resource that’s needed to achieve them. And mentally, when January is often considered to be a bit of a miserable month, candidates are likely to be attracted by the thought of training before Christmas and starting the New Year with real purpose – unlike all those who leave it until January to decide that it’s time to move on and have to start the slog of sending out CVs.

So if you know you need to recruit, do it now while it’s an employer’s market – take advantage of the end of year lull, the ideal candidate may be only a few CVs away.

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