The holiday season is upon us! As the Christmas songs fill our radio stations and the decorations are put in place, work often becomes marginalised. The festive season is often thought to be a less productive period for many businesses as things slow down towards the end of the year. In fact, those looking for work often give up on job hunting and wait until the New Year to find their dream career move.
In many ways all of this amounts to a wasted period of time that could otherwise be used to the advantage of both the employer and employee. Right now there are steps that both parties can be making to get ahead of the game and reap the rewards of Christmas recruitment.
To put it simply, December is a far less competitive job market when compared with January. As the New Year arrives, around 30% of UK workers consider leaving their current job, which results in a huge wave of candidates all applying for the same positions. If you get yourself hired the month before, you can beat the traffic. During the first week of January, when everyone is looking for a career change and fresh start, you could be going in on the first day of your new job. New year, new beginnings.
There are certain industries that actually see a spike in their recruitment during the Christmas period. Most notably, the retail industry thrives off the spending boom in December and then requires workers for New Year sales and returns, which means that retailers will be looking for new recruits. This is particularly useful for students who can benefit from a temp position during the holiday period.
Also, in the past the Royal Mail has had to hire up to 20,000 seasonal staff to support its long-term team. You never know, a temp job may lead to a permanent one.
Don’t write off December; use the time productively to put yourself in a position of strength. Volunteering is a great way of gaining necessary experience. Why not also build your online presence, such as LinkedIn, in order to get noticed? The quiet lull of the Christmas period could also be used to prepare your CV.
Businesses across the UK can benefit from hiring in December and gain an advantage over competitors. There are more job adverts posted in January than any other month throughout the year. This creates a saturated market and you may be left with less relevant candidates that aren’t right for your vacancy.
It’s also true that most employees have a four-week notice period that needs to be fulfilled. It’s all well and good accepting a successful candidate in early January but don’t expect them to arrive in the office until at least February.
New recruits in December will also have a positive effect on the workplace, preventing low performance and boosting productivity by creating a fresh, dynamic environment.
So is December the new January?
Well… perhaps not, but hiring and getting hired at Christmas isn’t as difficult as you may think and the advantages will set you ahead of the rest.