Traditionally, recruiters view December as an unproductive time mostly spent waiting for the January onslaught of CVs and new vacancies. That’s changing. December is often a slower month but approached strategically it presents a golden opportunity for recruiters. Here are six reasons why:-
Finalise 2015 targets and budgets
Many hiring managers are keen to tie up jobs that have been open for several weeks to enable them to close 2015 budgets and finalise recruitment plans for Q1 of 2016. Use this time to discuss those plans, complete assignments with a target start date of early January and schedule interviews to keep the pipeline topped up. For businesses whose financial year runs in parallel with the calendar year, hiring managers often aim to have new employees in place in order to close off their budget in December. As the pace of hiring may slow, you’ll also find that employers are more relaxed and have more time to discuss their 2016 plans with you.
A 'festive boom'
With a reported festive boom placing more pressure on recruiters to source skilled workers, many find the lead-up to the Christmas period to be one of the busiest times of the year. Rather than a lull, temp agencies specialising in the retail, catering and service sectors report increased revenue during this time. The festive season is the ideal time to populate your candidate database with the top talent in this competitive sector.
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As 2015 draws to a close, prospective candidates begin to review their personal and professional goals for 2016. Recruiters can capitalise on this by identifying and marketing to candidates with in-demand skills. Sectors experiencing skills shortages include IT, engineering, healthcare, accountancy and construction. The ‘twilight zone’ between Boxing Day and New Year presents a great opportunity for recruiters to contact elusive candidates who are more active on social media at this time.
Post your upcoming assignments and vacancies to job boards and social media feeds now to attract qualified candidates. The number of vacancies on job boards falls during December, making it the perfect time to pro-actively market your vacancies. Savvy job seekers continue to review job boards and vacancies during this period.
Stay ahead of the competition
Employers serious about hiring talent (and candidates serious about their job search) will consider the festive period for interview options, including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Stay ahead of your competitors by arranging interviews during this time where hiring managers’ schedules allow for it.
Time to prepare for 2016
Use the downtime to reflect on your achievements in 2015. Which candidates proved the hardest to find? Did your total income for placement fees match your projections? What do your recruitment metrics tell you about your performance? Where did your most successful candidates come from? How effective are your job posts? If your fee income or temporary margins fall short of your overall targets, review your strengths and weaknesses to create a strategic plan to boost those areas in 2016. If 2015 exceeded all expectations, take this opportunity to review your own career ambitions too.
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