Allison Decorating a Christmas tree at TalentSpark Boise office

To Recruit or Not to Recruit? Pros/Cons of Holiday Hiring

Happy December. We’re in the thick of the holiday season now. I’ve had several discussions with clients about the effectiveness of hiring during this time of year. I have mixed feelings on the topic.

Reasons for Holiday Recruitment

On the one hand, initiating a recruitment process during the holiday season can be a good thing since there is usually less recruiting activity late in Q4 and thereby less competition for talent. Candidates and hiring managers alike usually have more room in their schedules, making interview coordination easier. For many businesses, the brief lull in December can be a good time to initiate a recruitment process because there’s more bandwidth to dedicate to the process.

Reasons Against

On the other hand, unless you manage the sh*t out of your recruiting timelines in November and December, it’s easy to lose days and even weeks of time out of your hiring schedule. This is a problem because there’s no bigger candidate engagement killer than to start phone interviews and then pause the recruitment for 3 weeks because your interview team is all out on vacation. Candidate fall-out rates will be higher if you can’t keep the momentum going. In my opinion, the biggest drawback to recruiting this time of year is most people’s heads aren’t really in the game. Both hiring managers and candidates are thinking about things other than work and effective recruiting requires engagement and focus on both sides.

Other Items to Consider

December isn’t totally a lost cause though. It’s a great time to plan and get organized with the intent to start recruiting for the first part of the year. Get your job posting spiffed up. Engage with a recruiting firm like TalentSpark to help get your candidate pipeline primed. Research your pay practices to be sure your compensation and benefits are competitive. Target your ideal start date and develop a recruiting plan so you hit your hiring goals. Innovate in your interview and selection process so you make better hires. Start working on your employment brand and figure out ways to better your candidate experience.
If you have an urgent vacancy, of course, recruiting can’t wait and as noted, there is some upside to hiring now. But if you do have the luxury of a little more time and flexibility, use this month to build your talent acquisition strategy and then come out of the gate strong in January.
Author: Stephanie Parker, [email protected]