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Unwrapping Recruiting During the Holiday Season

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Quick look: The holiday season brings more than just exciting gifts, delicious meals, and quality time with your loved ones: it can be a great time to fill your open positions! In this blog, discover the benefits of recruiting during the holiday season, why 2021 is different from past years, and how to make the recruitment process easier for both your candidates and you as an employer.

Hot chocolate, snowmen, and twinkling lights: the holiday season brings many things to mind, but for most people, recruiting isn’t one of them. Did you know, however, that the festive season can also be the most wonderful time of the year for recruiting? Read on to explore why small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) should consider recruiting during the holidays, what makes this year’s holiday season different from all the rest, and three tips on how to land top talent and begin the new year on a strong note.

‘Tis the Season – for Hiring

Yes, you read that right. Many SMBs think that the holidays are an inopportune time to hire, but the opposite is in fact true. The holiday season can be beneficial to recruitment efforts for many reasons, including:

More people have time off

From November through January, many employees’ work schedules include several vacation days in addition to the standard holidays and days of observance when offices are closed. Simply put, they have more time to research job opportunities, apply to open positions, and interview.

It’s less suspicious to use PTO

Taking several extra days off in December garners far less suspicion than, say, requesting a few PTO days in April. Many employees would likely feel more comfortable scheduling interviews during this “unsuspicious” time of the year.

There’s less competition

As an employer, the holidays can be a great time to stand out from your competition. Rivaling businesses and recruitment agencies tend to be less active (or not active at all) during the holiday months due to being out of the office or running out of budget for the year. This means you will have far less competition with other employers, and since the best candidates will still be applying during this timeframe, it means you get first dibs on top talent.

Get a jumpstart on Q1

The time between Thanksgiving and the New Year seems to fly and before you know it, you’re back to business-as-usual in January with a to-do list full of goals for the new quarter. Get a jumpstart on Q1 by recruiting during the festive season! Instead of starting from scratch in January, you can get ahead of the game and focus on onboarding your newly hired talent.

Hire the most talented fresh graduates

It’s important to remember that a large chunk of college students graduate in the wintertime. This fact – combined with your lack of competition from other hiring businesses – means the holiday season is one of the best times to hire new graduates to fill your entry level positions.

Social media usage increases

In order for applicants to be attracted to your company, they of course need to be aware that your job posting exists in the first place. With some extra time on their hands over the holiday months, candidates are likely to spend more time perusing their social media feeds and job board sites, meaning they’re more likely to notice your job listing.

What Makes This Year Different?

Ah, the Great Resignation. You’re likely familiar with the term but if you need a refresher, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced that 4.3 million Americans – nearly 3% of the entire workforce – quit their jobs in August 2021.

So, what sparked this phenomenon? The COVID-19 pandemic forced many jobs to become remote – and workdays more hectic – leaving employees with a new set of priorities. According to a Bankrate job seeker survey, 55% of Americans expect to job hunt over the next 12 months, and their top three priorities are a flexible work arrangement (56%), higher pay (53%), and job security (47%), respectively. The survey also found that nearly one-third of American workers claim that even though they aren’t currently looking for a new job, they are still expecting to look to switch positions at some point in the next 12 months.

This labor shortage is putting employees in control and companies scrambling to stay competitive. In previous years, employers could potentially get away with slowing down recruitment efforts during the festive winter months, but during the ongoing Great Resignation, it’s simply not an option if you want to thrive and scoop up top talent before your competitors do. Now is the time to take advantage of the extremely active job market.

3 Tips for Recruiting During the Holidays

So, now that you know why you should hire during the holiday season, you might be wondering how to. With busy holiday schedules, creating job advertisements, narrowing down applicants, and scheduling interviews isn’t necessarily a piece of cake. Below are three tips on how to make the experience easier for both you and your candidates:

1. Go virtual. Don’t feel pressured to interview candidates in-person. Keeping the interview process virtual makes scheduling easier and more convenient for everyone involved. And considering 79% of workers think video conferencing is just as or more productive than in-person meetings, your candidates will likely feel comfortable interviewing in this style.

2. Be flexible. Even if a candidate took some time off from their current job, they may be busy preparing to host guests, running errands, purchasing holidays gifts, and more. Flexibility is key while recruiting during the holidays, and it’s important to be understanding if there is a delay in their response or if they request to book interviews after the holidays have wrapped up.

3. Leverage your PEO company. ‘Tis the season of giving, and if recruiting during the holiday season sounds overwhelming, let your PEO company give you a break! A PEO, like ExtensisHR, has the expertise to take this item off your to-do list, and help craft job descriptions, source the right candidates, schedule interviews, write offer letters, and more. Get the ball rolling today with your PEO to end 2021 on a strong note and hit the ground running in 2022.

Do you need a hand with your holiday hiring? Our recruiting experts are available to help you attract and secure the most gifted candidates.

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