Question Proposed on LinkedIn: The holiday season is actually a good time to job hunt due to high demand, holiday cheer, and less competition. What are your thoughts about potential candidates applying during this time of year?

Others’ Responses:

– I agree that it is a great time to source. The response rates might be low (during the holiday season) but it tends to lead to a solid pipeline in January (when people return to work and reply).

– As a Senior Recruiter who feels completely ‘not like myself,’ since being unemployed for the first time since I was about 11 years old, I have continued and will continue to apply for suitable opportunities; even during holiday season. When recruiting, I use this time of year to Recruit the more passive candidates as well due to the proverbial ‘New Year Resolutions,’ which include the determination to seek a new venue for employment. I could be the call that starts a person’s New Year off with a bang with the right offer!  That said: Is anyone looking for an upbeat, enthusiastic Recruiter who would love to be the unexpected Voice of Golden Opportunity for the new year?

– In my industry, Fund Accounting, it have to be right after New Year’s Day, new quarterly and yearly reports have to go out.

– Kathy, this is a great post. During career coaching I speak to this very point every time I help candidates design their job search strategy. Here is why in my 35+ years experience in staffing and employment that this time of year is one of the best times to be working the job market. In corporate recruiting, we manage to the organization chart. The annual budget process for most organizations is calendar year/fiscal year. Top down-bottom up-top down. Hiring managers must keep their budgets in line and the head count manageable and not go over budget. So, when managers get into the 4th quarter, they will hire to fill open positions to ensure their head counts do not drop, less those head counts will be taken away and given to another manager. Managers can therefore, hire in December (filling their budgeted head counts) and have the new hire start after January 1. Therefore, the head count remains, but the budget is not hit until the next fiscal year. The cycle starts all over again after January 1. So, if a job seeker understands this annual budget life cycle, he/she can identify many opportunities. Most candidates (and recruiters) stop looking during the Holidays, which lessens the competition. I encourage all my career counseling clients to aggressive seek out opportunities after Thanksgiving and through the New Year.

– I recently lost my job and looking for a new job. As most of you said that this is the best time to look for a career change or for new opportunity, so I hope I will get a job very soon. However, it may start in January 1st week but selection process may be completed this year. I hope your’s experience and wording will work and I will get a job. Thanks for your suggestions.

– At this stage in the game, most Recruiting/Hiring efforts would be geared toward starting the interview process and/or wrapping up previously begun interviews for offers with a January 2014 hire date. While applicants will likely not begin until post-holiday madness, I agree with most in these responses that now is a great time to apply and follow up on recently submitted applications. In this way companies can hit the ground running for the 1st quarter of 2014.

– I believe it can depend to an extent on the industry you’re recruiting to/applying for. Tom Taylor lays out a solid argument for why this is a good time of year but it assumes the companies are operating on calendar year budgets, where as some operate on either a Fiscal Year or Academic Year. I don’t find this time of year to be that productive for a couple reasons. 1. The simple dynamics of the season – people are busy and can be preoccupied with holiday preparations, family time, office parties and functions, etc. 2. Due to holiday schedules, being able to coordinate site visits to ensure all necessary parties are available, can also be problematic. 3. While “New Year’s” resolutions can spur people to action, that actual action often doesn’t kick in until the first of the year. I usually use this time to “target” potential passive candidates for exisiting positions and prepare campaigns to be launched with the beginning of the year but, as far as production and results, the month of December is not ideal and our efforts as recruiters can often get lost in the “noise” of the holidays.

– One further comment from my experiences on this subject. I hope that all that think this is not the time to look for those budget related jobs and for most corporations (80-90%) who are fiscal year/calendar year continue to advise candidates “not” to seek employment. That is the very reason why my candidate clients see reduced competition and have a competitive edge during this holiday period for finding employment. In all my years of recruiting, the 4th quarter and especially the month of December has been my most productive month of the recruiting calendar year. I closed more business during the last week before the New Year than any other one week period of each budget year. Just my experience and strategic method to bust recruiting quotas. Happy Holidays to all!

– I’m a Physician Recruiter, and this is a very busy time of year for us! Over the holidays many physicians actually get a brief pause, a little time off, and an opportunity to reflect on what they’d like to do… making this a great time to explore a change of practice. My clients, too, will make time to interview over the holidays, doing their best to accommodate busy doctors. I embrace the activity level too! Looking forward to an amazing New Year

– I would agree with you Tony about committed job-seekers. My comments are in the context of my role as a healthcare executive recruitment consultant, in which I’m usually targeting and engaging individuals who don’t even yet know they are a “job seeker” yet and, on my realistic analysis of recruitment seasonal peaks and valleys, from my 27 years in the business.

– There are always variables to consider, but this is a great time of year to job hunt. As a recruiter, I’m definitely still looking for qualified candidates. And since my applicant flow is down right now, I’m able to give each candidate a little more time for consideration.

– My experience is that job seekers are more comfortable moving forward once they’ve received their annual or year-end company bonus.

– As an executive , I know that I always keep searching for candidates through year end , even if the company was under a “hiring freeze” . Keeping the talent pipeline flowing with no air pockets is essential. As a CEO level candidate, I know that I should expect longer response times through year end but realize that companies who need top leadership and are not going to put those needs on hold just due to holidays. Also do not forget that the array of holiday get togethers can be rich networking opportunities.

– I certainly encourage people to continue their job search at this time of the year. Even if someone have just started to think about looking for a new opportunity or won’t be ready to commence until the new year, what better time to have a first introduction, meet with a recruiter and be prepared to proceed as soon as an opportunity arises. Those who wait until mid January may have already lost opportunities to those who were ready mid December.

– Job Seekers that are applying now; during the holiday season seem to be more motivated and serious candidates. We look for serious candidates that are self-motivated. The demand is high but I love this time of the year for hiring!

– We still need to recruit some positions filled – by the right candidates, so we are still recruiting right up till Christmas – depends who you are looking at to recruit, whether the candidates send in their CV’s – my advice to the candidates will be to send in their CV’s for the positions we are advertising for on our job boards as they are still current- We are helping a Client to interview during the Christmas period, as they need the chosen person to commence with them in January 2014

My Response:

– Recruitment at a company is for those as busy as they want to be – there is always work to be done. Never stop looking for work!

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