While most sectors are rushed off their feet over the festive period, Christmas is something of a quiet spell for many recruitment agencies. Why? The majority of companies want to avoid the hassle and cost of recruiting permanently in the lead up to the Christmas peak.
Instead, many choose to hire temporary staff and spend the time and money elsewhere. But is this wise? While it has become common practice to hire temps for Christmas, it might not be the best option. Companies could be better off taking advantage of the period as a recruitment window. Read on as we explore the ins and outs of recruiting before Christmas.
The Christmas talent pool
When Christmas comes around, some businesses flourish. Year upon year, the time between Black Friday and New Year makes up a significant proportion of the whole year’s sales. For others, however, the pressure is simply too much and they have to reduce costs and let staff go to stay afloat. The past few years have seen large logistics businesses enter administration during the lead up to Christmas, and cutting thousands of staff weeks before the big day. In short, the result is talented staff looking for work.
Despite this, there’s a reluctance from many companies to take new staff on during the run up to Christmas. Businesses may have a dwindling budget as they enter Q4 of the year, or have a lack of training resources with lots of current staff taking holidays at this time of year.
But this could be a perfect coincidence for other companies if they have the resources in place. With a well-timed recruitment push, businesses could find themselves taking their pick from a large pool of talented candidates with much less competition than other times of the year.
Speeding things up
It now takes over 27 days on average for internal HR Directors to successfully recruit for an open position in their business when not engaged with specialist recruiters, and the wave of new year’s hiring in January is thought to add around 5 – 10 days extra to that process. More candidates means HR teams spend more time considering CV’s and holding interviews, whilst more competition looking to hire means a lower chance of job offers being accepted by candidates. It’s something that can put off both businesses and candidates.
In contrast, candidates are more inclined to accept job offers before Christmas. From a candidate perspective, accepting a pre-Christmas job offer means beating the January rush. They can stand out from the masses before Christmas, and get to roles with less competition. It also allows them to integrate within a team before new year targets and planning have been set in stone.
Hiring in time for the New Year
Time is money in business, so a shorter recruitment cycle is clearly beneficial. On top of that, it’s thought the extra competition leads to a higher expected salary in January too. Statistics suggest that businesses may have to pay as much as 15% more to secure the right candidates in peak recruitment periods.
With the supposed chaos of Christmas, it’s easy to forget how difficult January is for businesses. Planning product releases for the year ahead, allocating the annual budget and holding staff reviews and management meetings – January is far from a quiet period. But, by this point, businesses have realised the need for additional staff and have no choice but to recruit amidst the January madness.
Recruiting in the right places
Despite the general benefits of hiring before Christmas, businesses still need to be smart with their recruitment choices. The Christmas period is the ideal time to identify candidates for non-front-line roles such as project management, HR or more technical staff. In contrast, roles that support peak trading, such as general managers, will be totally absorbed in meeting demanding customer expectations. They won’t be scouring the job boards for new opportunities and are less likely to talk to head-hunters.
Bis Henderson Recruitment aims to simplify the lengthy recruitment process with our extensive network of industry contacts and candidates. With our network, knowledge and a bespoke campaign, we can seek out and attract the best talent, providing a shortlist of candidates extremely quickly – this is particularly useful during peak periods. Whether you’re looking to hire before Christmas, or planning further down the line, contact the team today to talk about the logistics, ecommerce, supply chain or procurement recruitment for your business.