Misunderstood Holiday Hiring Trends

Nov 17 2011 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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” ♫  Oh, I’m just a soul whose intentions are good …
Oh Lord, Please don’t let me be misunderstood  ♫ ”

Holiday hiring trends are definitely misunderstood …

Most job seekers have the misunderstanding that hiring stops at Thanksgiving. Stops dead – No one gets hired until after New Years.

Why do you think that is?

best career advice, best job search information, career advice, job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career information, career help, career tips, career info, job search infoThe explanation most candidates give me is “the holidays”. I wonder, do you think that employers are so busy with office holiday parties, dancing on conference tables, only to go home to even more holiday parties for six entire weeks? Are employers too hung over from these 24/7 holiday parties to hire anyone?

Of course not. The reality is that hiring around the holidays has nothing to do with the holidays themselves.

Hiring around the holidays has everything to do with 3rd quarter results, which are finalized within the first two weeks of November for most companies. When 3rd quarter numbers suck … that’s when company finance departments try to defer expenses until next year, to boost current year profits as much as possible, limiting the amount that annual profits miss expectations/forecasts/budgets. One way to defer end of year expenses is to put on a hiring freeze.

Coincidentally, those decisions happen right around Thanksgiving, because that’s when 3rd quarter numbers come in.

However, in profitable years when companies are ahead of their goals, hiring doesn’t freeze – the exact opposite occurs.

In strong years, hiring efforts accelerate during the holidays, because hiring managers are under pressure to hire before year’s end. Here’s why … if a hiring manager hasn’t found the right candidate yet, but still has the green light to hire, that hiring manager knows that that position is approved for hire until December 31. But once New Year’s hits, that hiring manger has to re-justify the position and have that headcount re-approved by the Finance department. Going through the re-approval process isn’t just a pain in the neck for hiring managers … but they have a risk that an unfilled position might take away another position the hiring manager wants to be approved.

The risk is that Finance might reallocate headcount into other areas of the company.

So in good years, hiring mangers have a “use it or loose it” problem.

This is why recruiters are the busiest during the holidays, during years of strong corporate profits … pretty much like this year.

So if you want to blow off one of the best times of year to search for a job, let me recommend one thing: Make sure you have lots of holiday parties lined up, so you’ll make good use of your time.

You probably won’t catch many recruiters there.

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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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