Ring in the New Year with New Staff: Tips for Post-Holiday Recruitment Success
You've sang the last chorus of "Auld Lang Syne," swept up the streamers and confetti, and put away the last champagne glass. It's the New Year -- and it's a great time to supplement your staff with new talent.
Decades of market research indicate that the first month of a new year is almost always a very active period of recruitment. Jobseekers looking to make good on their career resolutions are out in force, so there's rarely a lack of willing applicants. But the competition for well-qualified candidates is likely to be fierce, so it's vitally important to plan ahead. Use these ideas to get a leg up on your new-year recruitment plans.
Sketch out your strategy well before the holiday season gets into full swing.
All too often, it seems like the stretch of time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day passes in the blink of an eye. Make sure your new-year hiring needs don't get lost amidst the shuffle of holiday celebrations and end-of-year paperwork. Begin by undertaking an assessment to determine the type and number of roles you'll need to fill. Then, you can gradually begin the process of developing a more detailed recruitment strategy over the next weeks and months.
Start contacting candidates early in the process.
Research shows that there's less holiday-related downtime in the hiring process than there used to be, but you should still assume that your candidates will have seasonal plans that might make them difficult to contact. Even if the position you're recruiting for isn't slated to begin until January, initiate the hiring process well in advance. That way, you'll have enough leeway to work around previous commitments and still make your hiring decision in time to have new staff in place when the new year rolls around.
Tap into the spirit of the "New Year's Resolution" job search.
The job seekers who are in the market for a new position in the new year are often searching for more than just a job -- they want to make a positive change in their lives. It's human nature to be drawn to the promise of a fresh start as we flip to the first page of a new calendar. Try to frame the opportunity you're recruiting for in terms that will resonate with job seekers who are interested in both personal and professional growth, and make sure to emphasize your organization's professional development opportunities in the interview.
Don't force yourself to stick to an arbitrary deadline.
The thought of having all of your new-year staffing gaps filled by the time January 1st rolls around can be a compelling reason to get a jump start on the hiring process. But even if New Year's Day is rapidly approaching and you’re still short-handed, don't feel like you have to settle for a candidate who doesn't fully meet your needs just so you can cross the task off your list. According to Michael Mercer, PhD, author of Hire the Best and Avoid the Rest, organizations can usually avoid major problems down the road by holding out for an applicant who offers the best fit. Go with your instincts -- even if that means holding off on a hiring decision until Groundhog Day.