It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… well maybe not just yet in the Okanagan, although Big White and local ski hills are looking to open within the next couple of weeks. Winter is coming.
For job seekers, the end of the calendar year and start of the New Year can bring about change emotionally, physically and professionally. Those searching for employment can take solace in the fact that recruitment and hiring tends to pick up in the fall as many companies look to fill any vacant roles before the holidays roll around. However in some cases, smaller companies may decide to wait until January or February to fill vacant roles. As a result, January and February can be the best time of the year to look for a job. This is good news for those seeking employment but what does it mean for companies looking to fill vacant positions as the calendar turns to the New Year?
While some companies delay hiring in December, it’s not a bad idea to get a jump start on your hiring for the New Year. Especially considering that acquiring top talent can be very competitive in today’s market.
While recruiting and hiring has its share of ebbs and flows, it’s no secret that the first quarter of the year can be a busy time for your HR team. As the calendar year winds down you’ve probably started your planning for 2019. You’ve looked at the bottom line and chances are that you’ve already evaluated your staffing needs. Sales forecasts and budgets have been established. You have a better sense of what your staffing needs for 2019 will be. So then how do you go about staffing for the New Year?
Hiring Tips for Q4 Hiring (and hiring for the New Year)
- Begin the process in early-mid Q4 – it’s not a bad idea to revisit your hiring needs for the next year in early Q4, possibly as early as late September/early October. By this time you should have a good understanding of what your hiring budget will be, what the head count will be and what specific talent you may need. Early planning will allow you to take a little extra time to identify stronger candidates.
- Myth: Nobody hires in December – while this might be historically true, there can be an advantage to hiring in December. With the holiday season approaching, the month tends to be a little quieter (depending on your industry). Why not use this “down time” to onboard new talent? That way you can hit the ground running in January and February. Not to mention there is a good chance that your competitors are probably waiting until January or February to begin their hiring for the year. Why not get an early jump on them and be “first to market” or in this case “first to talent”.
- Time the release of your job postings – apparently the best time for job seekers to apply for a position is Tuesdays at around lunch time. If this is indeed true, posting positions in October and November and hiring in December can help you break the tradition and will allow you to acquire talent that is actively seeking employment later in the year. You know how long your typical hiring process takes, so time the release of your job postings to be on a Sunday or Monday to tap into those Tuesday mid-day job seekers.
- Be flexible with start dates – when hiring for the new year, you definitely have to consider the impact of the holiday season. There is a good chance the potential candidates have vacation plans or may be looking for a few days off around the holidays. Depending on your business activity during this time, you may want to try to hire for November or hire in December with a start date in January after the holidays are over.
- Look to seasonal (or temp) workers to help with your year-end demands – Temporary workers are great for projects or assignments that are shorter in duration although the engagement can range from a few days to several months. Consider temporary staff to kick off the New Year. This can buy you time to look for full-time staff or allow you some flexibility in finding the most qualified candidate for your needs.
The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone. Why add to the stress of worrying about staffing? Being a little proactive with your recruiting efforts in Q4 and planning for staffing for the New Year can reduce stress and allow you to enjoy the festive season and enjoy some of the great Okanagan weather.
Need assistance with your 2019 staffing needs for your organization? Contact us today to set up a consultation. Speak with one of our experienced HR consultants today!