Many job seekers believe that hiring doesn’t happen during the holidays, grinding their possible holiday job search to a halt. Contrary to this common misconception, many companies continue to hire over this period, making it a prime time to execute a well strategized job search when there is less competition. To break free from this myth, the CDI Education Committee reached out to a handful of recruiters from different industries to find out:
What are the advantages and disadvantages of performing a holiday job search, and what are the trends you’ve personally experienced with hiring?
In this spirit of the holiday, we’ve made this issue available free to everyone!
Here’s what they had to say:
Ron Beck | Director of Healthcare Leadership & IT Recruitment at Carecor Health Services Ltd.
Job interviews with employers slowdown in the last two weeks of December, only because one or more of the interview panel members are away on vacation and it’s very rare that a hiring committee will make a final selection with a key decision maker away for the holidays. But that doesn’t mean this is not a valuable time for your career, and here’s why.
First, some organizations increase their hiring plans in January, especially if the new year brings a new fiscal budget. While those start dates are rarely in December, it doesn’t stop them from new employment advertising and job postings going up in mid-December. HR departments know that some new year’s resolutions include career growth, and this matches their plan to staff up in the winter months.
Second, late December usually brings work slowdowns, plus with three public holidays sprinkled in, it’s a great time to update your resume while looking at those recent job postings in your field. Even if your resume is accurate, consider writing less about the sorts of work that no longer interest you so much, and write more about the accomplishments and duties around skills you do enjoy, to help shift your direction to a more satisfying career.
Third, as you spot some exciting opportunities and dream jobs, you might find you have some of the credentials needed, but not all. So, use that extra down time to look at the training options or specific certificates that will help you get there. If you sign up for a course, or commit to a career related certificate, get that commitment onto your resume too.
Many hiring managers feel it’s important to hire someone who is honest about their skills and what might be missing or weak. Someone who is open to learning and change shows honesty, flexibility, and a desire for professional growth, which are typically highly valued by employers. Your cover letter might say that you ‘want’ to grow your career, but by putting “in progress” or “pending” beside a new commitment to professional development on your resume, is the proof that you’re a life-long-learner, and just the sort of person that leaders want on their team.
Marc Belaiche | President at TorontoJobs.ca
As many job seekers believe that hiring slows down over the holidays (which is true), they stop looking during this time. Typically, between mid-December until the beginning of January, we find a drop in people applying for jobs because they think that employers are not hiring.
The advantages of searching during this time are:
- There is less competition from other job seekers also applying so an application will stand out more
- Employers have smaller candidate pools to choose from because fewer people are applying
- Many employers have busy seasons right away in January (for example, start of busy season, year end, etc.) so they tend to want to have candidates hired and ready to go by the first Monday in January
- Employers will spend a little more time and not be as rushed to do an interview.
The only disadvantage I can think of is that an employer may also put things on hold until the New Year, so I would always suggest that if someone applies during the holidays to follow up or re-apply in the New Year if they haven’t heard back.
Christian Kaijser | Managing Director at Career Evolutions
Holidays certainly have an impact on the job search, as many take time off to be with friends and family. That said, it’s also a good time for a job search as people are typically in a good mood going into the holiday which makes it an excellent time for following up.
Also, if many other candidates aren’t applying during the holiday then the fact that one does will likely increase the probability of being considered as a candidate. Many employers will also do some work to clear off their “To Do” lists and piles on their desks, so the recruiting and interviewing processes will continue over the holiday. In other words, keep pushing the job search forward with a holiday spirit mindset and a smile.
Heather Bellingham | Sourcing Recruiter at Amazon Web Services
It’s a common misconception that hiring slows down over the holidays. While sometimes it does, it really depends on the organization, where some are already starting to hire for 2021, and others are still planning. However, if you’re starting the interview process in November there’s a good chance you won’t be starting until January.
With 2020 being an unprecedented year, I wouldn’t slow down your job search. Continue to actively search and interview. I would encourage job seekers to be patient; it can take longer to get through the process or start a new position. This is mainly because we don’t want someone starting December 21 when your colleagues are on vacation.
It’s a fair question to ask the organization their timelines, I have secured many candidates over the holidays and jumped on my laptop between festivities. It’s also a great time as a candidate to critically look back on your job search and resume and ask yourself, “what’s working, and what can I improve?” to help you yield different results in 2021.
What This Means for Your Clients
As the recruiters indicated, although December can be a slower time for hiring, there are also many advantages to continuing a job search. With less people applying to positions, this can be a great time to get on the hiring manager’s radar. As career professionals, we can emphasize the importance of following up and provide additional coaching on how to do it effectively. As one recruiter indicated, a “holiday spirit mindset” can go a long way at making a great impression, and we can help our clients’ present their best selves on paper and in person.
The holiday season also provides a ripe opportunity for job seekers to assess their future career goals and update their resumes. This means we can help our clients take a proactive approach, so they can kick off 2021 with a polished brand and impactful job search strategy. It also provides us with an opportunity to reach out to past clients, to wish them a happy holiday, of course, but to also inquire about their 2021 career goals.
Special thanks to CDI Education Committee who contributed to this Q&A spotlight. Curated by Laura Hartnell.
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