Hiring for the new year? Start now to avoid disappointment

If you want to find great talent for roles starting early next year, now is the time to start recruiting.

While 12 weeks still stand between now and the new year, about six of those weeks will disappear once you account for Christmas and the end of year shutdown period.

In this post we share our strategy to ensure you hit the ground running with a full head count of talented employees in the new year. Read on to find out more…

Don’t underestimate the disruption of Christmas

The lead-up to silly season is NOT a good time to launch a recruitment campaign, nor go to market with any big hires.

Think about it. Most of the world (including your candidates) spend much of their non-working hours of December seeing friends and family, Christmas shopping, holiday planning, and all the rest of it.

It’s really not a time when anyone’s got much mental space left over to consider new job opportunities, spruce up their resume or attend interviews.

You might get some applicants, but most will be caught up in the hectic pace of silly season. And even then, scheduling interviews and keeping the momentum rolling is just about impossible with everyone either on holiday or flat chat with tying up projects before they get away.

Think about the recruitment timeline

Given the above factors, if you launch a recruitment campaign in December, interviews won’t realistically start until after Australia Day.

The interview and offer process typically takes at least two to three weeks, bringing us to mid-to-late February to tie down offers.

Your successful candidate then will have a notice period at their old job, and they may also want to take a breather between roles.

Between their notice period, potential holiday and any onboarding processes in place to set them up in their new role, it’ll be March or even April really, before they’re settled in and working smoothly.

If that won’t work for your organisation, don’t stress: there’s another way to do things.

The alternative: hit the ground running 

The good news is, it’s still possible to hire for a January/February start date if you get organised quickly.

Map out a list of the hires you intend to make over the next six months, and get in touch with your recruitment agency ASAP.

Consider:

Which positions are the priorities?

  • If this role isn’t filled for a few months, how will that impact our teams and operations?
  • Can you do without someone in that role if the process takes longer than expected?

How senior is the role?

  • As a general rule, the more senior the position, the longer the process may take, as there’s less qualified talent out there at the level you’re seeking. So make sure you allow more time for higher positions.

General prep

  • Do you have job descriptions ready?
  • Which existing staff will be scheduling and conducting interviews? Do you have a clear picture of all their holiday plans and when everyone will be around?
  • What salary bindings are in place? Who can sign off on potential adjustments if you want to go over the maximum? What is their availability over the Christmas period?

Talented recruiters can always slow the hiring process down to make offers in December for a January or February start, but it’s next to impossible to speed the process up if you’ve left it too late.

Hiring for multiple roles at the same time is possible, even if they’re all senior positions.

A good recruiter will stagger the interviews across December so your interviewing staff aren’t swamped with interviews all at once and unable to get anything else done.

No one has time to be bogged down in the lead-up to Christmas!

Other benefits

Starting the hiring process early attracts a huge range of benefits for your organisation.

By advertising your upcoming roles in October or November, you’ll attract more proactive talent than the candidates who leave their job search to the eleventh hour – and you’ll also avoid the competitive frenzy of the new year, when everyone else is competing for applicants.

Getting ahead on your hires also allows for smoother transition and greater continuity in your teams.

With more time to prepare and less last-minute rushing around, you’ve got more time to farewell outgoing staff and prepare well for the incoming team members.

It also means new staff have the best chance of being welcomed and efficiently onboarded so they can settle in quickly.

The verdict

To give your organisation the best chance of starting the new year with a full head count, get in touch with your recruiters ASAP to start the ball rolling.

Be. Recruitment is a leading talent acquisition agency in the social care sector. Looking to take on additional staff in the new year? Get in touch with us today.

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