I was recently asked to be a guest on a talk radio show to debunk the myth that no hiring occurs after mid-November. YES 4th quarter has been historically slow in regards to hiring and not just because of the holidays; because it coincides with the end of the budget year.
That being said, in all of my years of staffing I have seen many recruiters slack off in the holiday season because they feel all of the decision makers are on vacation.
Well this may have been in the past but there is an increasing trend of companies just going right through the holidays as if it were any other time of year and those are the folks who very much need some help on their team!
You also have to keep in mind internal recruiters really want to fill all their roles before year end and there tends to be a lag in applicants this time of year. As a recruiter I take advantage of my colleagues’ slack attitude at this time of the year and that is what I suggest you as the job seeker do.
When a company tightens its belt depends on the company and how well they mapped out their realistic hiring needs in the prior year. I have worked with organizations who panic in June/July and immediately cut back on hiring and any other “non-critical expenses” and others who don’t give it a second thought until they realized they may have bit of more than they can chew in terms of spending.
The most impressive thing I have seen come out of lean economic times is a new smarter individualistic way of thinking in HR. Many companies have started becoming more diligent in their planning and use a matrix system to plug in industry specific hiring trends so that they can frame their budget more around actual needs and less around the fiscal year. These new smarter companies tend to hire right up until the ball drops and that is a great thing for you.
My suggestion to you as a job seeker is to aggressively seek out employment while much of your competition is stuffing their faces with turkey legs and Christmas cookies.
According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey published in September 2012, we are looking at the strongest Fourth Quarter Outlook in Five Years: The Quarter 4 2012 Net Employment Outlook of 11% gain is the strongest fourth quarter data collected since 2007.
Some food for thought: typically the accounting and financial services industry, retail and manufacturing companies regularly see a fourth quarter increase in temporary and contract hiring as corporations see assistance to close out their year and their books.
Additionally, there are some companies such as nonprofits that require you to spend your budget money because it affects your budget the following year.
Though he may have been the symbol of death of all hiring in years past, things are changing and Mr. Turkey now brings with him optimism and hope for eager job seekers.
While the wave of tryptophan is lapping over your fellow job seekers , stay alert and stay vigilant my friends.
Apply. apply, apply! We live in very fast and competitive times and anytime your competition is napping is a great time for you to step it up. Happy Holidays and happy job seeking!
Andrea Clarkson has been working in the field of Human Resources and Employment Branding for over 10 years and has had the honor of sitting on the Board of Directors for both the Orlando Chapter of the Florida Staffing Association and South Brevard SHRM.
***This article is a re-post that I wrote in 2012. After attending a job fair today that was unusually low in volume, I felt it was necessary to share.