It’s early October. Within 30-plus days, Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day, which kicks the holiday season into full gear. Across business organizations, there is typically an internal debate about whether or not they should continue hiring during the lead-up and throughout the holiday season, due to the disruptions of vacation schedules and family gatherings.
Job seekers get concerned that human resources, recruiters, talent acquisition professionals, hiring managers and interviewers may not be around as they plan for the holidays and take much-needed time off.
It’s prudent for businesses to continue the hiring and interview process during the holiday season. Job seekers can also take advantage of the fact that there will be less competition for employment during this time. Job seekers who procure an offer can choose a start date after the new year, providing a few weeks of enjoying the time off before starting their new job. For those people in between roles, consider taking on a seasonal job during the holiday season.
What Companies And Recruiters Need To Do
It’s a relatively standard operating procedure for businesses to allocate funds for headcount. Managers have hiring objectives they need to hit by the end of the year. If they don’t find and onboard new employees, they will lose the ability to hire for the remainder of the year. It’s a “use it or lose it” budget mentality by corporate leadership.
Since the money is not coming out of the pocket of the hiring manager, they are incentivized to hire someone quickly before the window closes at the fiscal year-end. To make this happen, the timeline must be expedited. Recruiters and hiring managers can’t drag their feet and must offer feedback and take action within days—not months.
As time is of the essence, it is critical to streamline the hiring process. Businesses must speed up recruitment to avoid losing top talent to other employers. Don’t waste precious time by getting tangential people involved with the process. Focus on the core team members who are the key decision-makers.
Establish goals for turnaround time on feedback and decision-making after a few interviews. Give clear guidelines on expected timelines to candidates so there are no surprises. Immediately communicate any roadblocks or problems, and remove them so the hiring process keeps moving forward.
Key decision-makers must play their part and be ready and prepared to move quickly with an offer when the perfect candidate is identified. You can’t vacillate, as you’ll risk losing the person. Inquire often about the prospect and ask for feedback to ensure they are sold on the role and eager to join the company.
What Job Seekers Should Do Now
Job hunters should not pause their search just because it’s close to the holidays. Keep applying for jobs, as some employers are willing and able to hire during this season. Take advantage of the fact that there may be less competition for jobs during the holiday season. Many job seekers halt their search, as they’d prefer to coast throughout the holiday season without the stress of interviewing.
Get things in order to prepare for your search. Update your résumé and LinkedIn profile, practice your interviewing skills, network with people in your industry, gather recommendation letters and hit the job boards to gain a sense of the market within your sector.
Use the holiday season as an opportunity to network with people in your industry, attend holiday parties and events and reach out to people you admire for informational interviews.
Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve are holidays where people tend to gather. It’s an easy way to network subtly. People generally reach out to each other during the holidays, so it wouldn’t be awkward to call someone you haven’t spoken to in several years.
It’s a great time to reconnect with people and catch up. Get back in touch with college friends, alums, recruiters and former colleagues. Use the holidays as a way to update people on how you’re doing, ask about their lives and share your goals, including career changes you want to make.
Several businesses must dramatically increase their hiring during the holiday season, especially if the company benefits from holiday shopping, such as retail stores, food and beverage operations, e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, and the boots-on-the-ground delivery people at FedEx and UPS.
To get applicants, companies should offer flexible work arrangements and job sharing to help employees balance work and personal responsibilities during the holiday season.
Provide mental health resources to employees, such as counseling services, mental health days and access to wellness apps, to help them manage stress during the chaotic holiday season.