Author: Tess Joosse
Towards the end of the calendar year as personal commitments and vacations pick up, recruiting and hiring tends to slow down. But hiring during the holidays can give you a leg up when done right. Here we’ve gathered some pros and cons to consider and some tips to help you search for great talent during this most wonderful time of the year.
Holidays Hiring Pros:
- You’re dealing with a highly motivated candidate pool. Whether because of vacations and commitments or because they’ve bought into the myth of the “holiday hiring freeze,” many candidates put their job search on hold this time of year. The ones that keep at it are highly motivated to find their next opportunity. This diligence will not only sustain a candidate through the interview and hiring process — it will also carry over into their job performance once they are on the team.
- People take time to reflect and consider life changes towards the end of the year. As the New Year approaches, many people reflect on how the past year went and what they might want to alter in their life, including in their career. Now is a great time to attract these candidates who are ready for a change.
- There’s less competition for candidates as others put their hiring on hold. While the holiday hiring freeze may not hold true across the board, it’s true that many companies cut back on recruiting during this time of year because of time off, vacations, and end-of-year wrap ups. By building hiring into your plans for the season, you will face less competition for candidates than in other times of the year.
- Candidates have more leeway when scheduling interviews. If a candidate is currently employed while they’re searching for a new job, they may find it difficult or awkward to ask for time off for interviews without hinting that they are looking for greener pastures. Because most people are taking time off this season, it might be easier for these candidates to schedule interviews during the holidays without raising their current employer’s suspicions.
- The holidays are a great time to garner referrals. Between family commitments, holiday parties, and school celebrations, you likely will be doing a lot of socializing during this season, and you might come across great candidates amid the merriment. Your employees and network are in the same boat. Ask them to keep your job openings top of mind as they celebrate, and to send any high-quality referrals your way.
Holiday Hiring Cons:
- Candidates are more likely to be traveling or taking time off. Though some applicants will keep their nose to the grindstone, even the most committed will likely take time off around the holidays. Some might even be out of town and will not be available or interested in a long string of interviews. Tip: Implement a quick interview process. To spare a candidate’s valuable time (and your own), ensure that your job description is unambiguous and detailed, consider cutting pre-screening questionnaires and phone screens, keep interviews to the minimum number of necessary rounds, and clearly communicate your timeline to candidates.
- Candidates don’t want to miss out on a holiday or year-end bonus. If a candidate gets hired in December to start in January, they might miss out on a holiday bonus – both at their new company, and potentially at their old company if they hand in their notice before the Christmas/New Year’s break. Some year-end bonuses also take into consideration an employee’s time at the company and previous year’s performance, which won’t apply for brand new hires. Tip: Consider offering a sign-on bonus to new hires. To incentivize new hires to join your ranks and to celebrate the season, a signing bonus can be a great idea.
- Fewer candidates are actively applying, which could spell trouble if you’re looking for rare or specialized skills. The catch-22 of a smaller candidate pool is while they may be more motivated, sometimes hiring is all about volume. If you are looking for a specialized skill or a rare combination of skills, this might be hard to find if less candidates are applying. Tip: Bring on a recruiter to help fill the role. Sci.bio’s targeted, efficient, and scalable approach supports biotech companies of all sizes. Get in touch with us today and learn more.