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As Christmas shoppers brave the cold and the mass hysteria of last-minute bargains, children eagerly await Santa’s imminent tumble down the chimney shaft, jobseekers 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:

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. 2019 has certainly illustrated the skills shortage in many niche roles and the struggle to reach passive candidates. The latter stages of the year can be a fantastic time to engage with passive candidates that may have been out of reach earlier in the year.

Hiring in January will almost guarantee a battle for top talent, and in turn, you will need to be extra-competitive with offers. It will leave you very little time to mull a candidate over as hiring must be lightning quick. Instead, enjoy January, calmly conducting inductions and welcoming your new acquisitions while your competitors frantically try to find 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.

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 be enthused after landing 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 them ready to jump in the deep end at the beginning of January. So, no teething problems that would negatively impact your other employees, potentially jeopardising the longevity of a new employees relationship with you and the team.

Earn your Christmas cheer

Offering someone a job before Christmas not only makes for 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, consequently, will be refreshed and ready for their first week with you.

The same benefit applies to employers, too – put your feet up and celebrate the satisfaction of crossing everything off your list and receiving a signed contract from a brilliant candidate in the post.

This year has seen the real emergence of reviewing the way companies consider the wellbeing of their employees in the workplace. Allowing your hiring managers to make their hires earlier than the competition will allow them to spend their break recharging ready to take 2020 by storm, seeing them return to work reinvigorated and most importantly, happy!

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 seemingly never-ending 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 is often a little too chaotic and driven to ensure that your hiring process gets the attention it deserves.

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 2020, now is the time to get the wheels in motion. Get started on identifying the roles you want to fill – the impact come January will resonate throughout the year and is well worth the extra work before Christmas.

For hiring needs this December (and the rest of the year), contact ConSol Partners