by | Dec 5, 2019

When to hire – before Christmas or wait until the New Year?

The funny thing about us in New Zealand as we head in to the Christmas break is our ability to try and get done a crazy amount of tasks; and/or just stop certain projects until the New Year. What I love in my role, is just how our clients seem to fall in to one of the two camps when it comes to recruitment – they either want to drive ahead with recruitment, right up to the eleventh hour, or they don’t want to focus on recruitment until late January.

You may wonder if it matters either way and I would argue that it does.

Recruit Now

Those business owners that want to recruit into November and December are often strategic in their approach.  They generally have a clear plan for the business, know what goals they need to achieve and who they need on board to deliver those goals.  These business owners and leaders often have strong awareness of the costs of leaving roles vacant – be that in terms of delivery, customer satisfaction, team morale, continuity and/or financial results.  They know that coming in to December/January – that this is a crucial time to get new recruits up to speed, and they want their new recruits hitting the ground running as soon as possible so that they can add value throughout the coming year.

I often see with these clients that they do achieve their goals faster, grow faster and/or get themselves out of the business faster – if that is their intention.

Recruit Later

Those business owners and leaders that tend to wait often do so because of underlying fear – fear that they won’t get the best candidates; fear relating to cash flow concerns with bringing on new team members; and/or fear that they have other priorities.

However, often when I dig deep with these clients, those fears are often unfounded.  When I see that sense of prevailing fear, there are a couple of things I work through with our clients.

  • We search for top calibre candidates – which means that it is rare that we find candidates through adverting alone, this is primarily due to us being in a candidate short market. Essentially, the candidates we approach have the skills and experience that you want and value, however, generally they aren’t looking for roles but for the right opportunity, they are open to hear more – we call these candidates, our passive market.  So, time of year for approaching candidates when using talent search methodology is generally not of significant importance.  In fact, often Christmas is a good time to approach candidates as the holiday period is often when people evaluate their employment options
  • When it comes to cash flow – what is the cost of not having someone in a pivotal role in the business? If a role is needed to support delivery and growth – surely that is the focus for success.  Also, remember that if team members are hired before Christmas, they may not start until the New Year anyway
  • When it comes to other priorities – few stand out as much as having the right people on board – and if you have the right people being hired, that enables you to focus on your role, rather than having to do the work due to vacant roles too.

Thoughts for the Christmas break

Even if you are not ready to hire today, take a moment over the Christmas holidays to

  • Think about your strategic goals for the year
  • With those goals in mind, ask yourself – what staff with the right skills do you need to bring on board to achieve those goals?
  • Then, determine when you need them on board. With those rough dates in mind, work back 2-3 months to allow you ample time to recruit….
  • Now you have the start of a recruitment strategy to achieve your goals in 2020

If you do decide to recruit now or in the New Year – please reach out to me.  If you mention this article (always a delight to know that my musings are being read!), I will give you a discount on our standard recruitment fees of 13% to 11% on all placements started before 10th January.

Merry Christmas!

Simone Regan – Head of Recruitment

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