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Perhaps somewhat unhelpfully, the answer to this is yes or no!
It will depend on how you are planning on going about your recruitment and talent attraction. In short, if you are planning on advertising vacancies and relying upon applicant responses, then you will be better served by waiting until January to start your campaigns. If you are going to use a recruitment agency, or have your own extensive contact network, and have mapped your industry and know who to approach, then you should start the process now.
Why wait until January if you are running a recruitment advertising campaign?
We all know that the run up to Christmas puts additional time demands on people so many would-be work seekers decide to leave the search until after the holiday season. The time off work, often spent with family and friends, and alcohol consumption, also leads to introspection and a decision to “make important changes” in the new year.
The wave of “new year, new job” work seekers has advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is often that there is a greater choice of talent and increased application rates. The main disadvantage is that a number of these individuals may not have fully thought through their motivations for a move and will sometimes fail to follow through on the plan to leave an employer once another offer is on the table.
Why start now if you are using a professional Recruiter or have mapped your industry and know which contacts you will approach?
A professional agency recruiter, or internal recruiter with a well-mapped industry contact list, will have a network of experienced people who can be approached directly, or introduce potentially interested parties. These are often what we call “passive candidates” who are not proactively looking for a move but are happy to hear about new opportunities that have an attractive value proposition for them. By talking to these candidates before the holiday season, you can plant some seeds and allow them time to relax and ponder. Even though interview stages may not be reached this side of Christmas, you will have potentially stolen the march on your competitors if they are waiting until January (or April) to look at talent attraction.
You will also have benefitted from an intrinsic screening tool that will minimise the frustration, and wasted time, of a job offer that is refused. In general, candidates that fit in initial conversations and primary interview stages in December, are motivated to move and already show a certain level of commitment.
This is also a good time of year to start the process if you are considering a senior level appointment in your business, especially if that post requires significant strategic planning skills. We all know that, despite the approach of January spurring many on to take stock of their lives and plan for next year, there are numerous people who spend more time planning their next holiday than their career. There are few (if any) successful leaders that got there purely on talent and winging it. Somebody who is already contemplating what they will achieve in 2019 is already showing the kind of mindset you will need in a strategic role.
So, do you need to start the ball rolling now or wait until January to look for your next hire? Whatever route you choose to take, the weeks before Christmas can be used to sketch out exactly what you need the incoming person to achieve, so that you can write a comprehensive job and person specification on which to base your search.
If you need any further guidance or want to place your vacancy with Recruit Recruit please call 01902 763006 to discuss your needs.