As 2015 nears its end, Christmas shoppers brave the cold and the mass hysteria of last-minute bargains, children eagerly await Santa’s imminent tumble down the chimney shaft, job-seekers have finished perfecting their CVs ahead of a relaxing holiday season, and employers brace themselves for the mad hiring spree that the new year will bring.
Many employers strategically plan out their hiring schedules, and choose January to begin this process with gusto and renewed enthusiasm. In their eyes, candidates want to start the new year by applying for jobs, and so they prep their hiring managers accordingly to begin the interview process in January.
However, this could well be the WRONG approach. Here’s why:
1. Your competitors are complacent
Since your competitors are starting to interview in January, December will bring a pool of talent that isn’t being engaged. They’re just wandering around, hoping to be picked up for their excellent array of skills – and you’re the only one looking for them.
Companies hiring in January have to be extra-competitive with job offers and move at the speed of light to even get a shot at securing their preferred candidates. Come January, you’ll be calmly conducting inductions while they’re frantically finding time to interview.
Not only that, but arranging interview times should be a pretty straightforward process for the early birds, since it’s generally easier to grab an afternoon off work in December than in January. You don’t want to miss a great potential employee because their availability is limited.
2. It’s a great time to get settled
If you hire someone to start in December, the lucky candidate will be starting at the best possible time; lots of festive cheer and therefore lots of social occasions to sink their teeth into and use as great introduction opportunities to integrate into company life smoothly.
Not only will your new hire think they’ve landed their dream job, but it’ll also take a lot of strain off the rest of the team: there’ll be more time for you to train the new hire and have him/her ready to jump in the deep end at the beginning of January, so no teething problems that would negatively impact your other employees.
3. Earn your Christmas cheer
Offering someone a job before Christmas not only makes a wonderful present, but it also gives them the gift of relaxation. A candidate who knows that he/she is going straight into a new job after the Christmas break will be more relaxed, have more financial security and, as a consequence, will be very refreshed for their first week with you.
The same benefit applies to employers, too – put your feet up with a glass of Baileys to celebrate the sheer satisfaction of crossing everything off your list and receiving a signed contract from a brilliant candidate in the post. The turkey always tastes better when you’re stress-free!
4. With a new year comes new responsibility
We always have a lot on our plates in the new year. With a new year comes new responsibility and new tasks to add to our list – so the last thing that many hiring or training managers want is an added pressure in the form of a drawn-out hiring process. If you can get it done and dusted in December, you’re more likely to give it your full attention as the number of open tasks you’re working on will no doubt be dwindling. January’s a little too chaotic and driven to ensure that your hiring process gets the attention it deserves.
5. Hiring in Q4 is a proven strategy favoured by industry leaders
One of ConSol Partners’ longest-standing customers, a globally leading telecommunications and internet service provider, have found, over the years, that hires starting between Q1-Q3 are slow to make an impact and trickier to integrate. They complete the vast majority of their hiring in Q4, with very little activity throughout the rest of the year. They believe that by following this pattern, not only do they get the maximum business value out of new staff for a full business year come January, they also get their pick of the best talent as other companies have slowed down their hiring.
There’s no reason not to use December to finalise the hiring process – complete interviews without pressure and cherry-pick candidates ahead of the competition. A job offer is made and accepted, hands are shaken, mince pies are shared and everyone goes away for their Christmas breaks. The new starter arrives in January, fresh as a daisy and raring to go.
So, if you’re currently thinking about your hiring strategy for 2016, now is the time to get the wheels in motion. Get started on identifying candidates for the roles you want to fill – the impact come January resonates throughout the year and is well worth the extra work before Christmas.