As decorations fly off the shelves, shoppers fill the streets, and the cold weather sets in, how will the Christmas slow down affect job hunters?
The run-up to Christmas is a notoriously tricky time of the year for job seekers. Businesses are wrapping things up for the New Year, employees are jetting off to catch some winter sun, and office festivities are at the front of everyone’s minds.
Although many people view December as rather fruitless for those on the job hunt, we think otherwise.
Join us as we dispel the myths surrounding the Christmas slowdown and offer some top tips for those applying for roles in December.
Benefits to Job Hunting During the Christmas Slow Down
While the job market tends to dip during the festive period and interview processes often take a bit longer, there are some hidden benefits for December job seekers.
Businesses Sometimes Have Extra Budget
By the end of the year, many businesses have a good understanding of their budget and available funds for next year and are keen to get a team in place to start the year off right.
If a company has extra room in their annual budgets, they’ll often look to fill new roles to pick up slack from holidaymakers.
In larger companies, individual departments like to avoid going into the New Year with excess cash as failing to spend this money may lead to cutbacks on their budget in the future.
We recommend candidates set-up job alerts on LinkedIn for their favourite companies. New positions are opening up left, right, and centre over December so it’s important to be in the know.
Companies Think Ahead
Hiring ahead of Christmas means teams will be ready to hit the ground running in the New Year with all hands on deck. Businesses can use December to train new recruits and get them up to speed before closing their doors for Christmas.
While productivity dips in December, January is possibly the busiest time of the year for recruiters. Typically, the number of open positions rises by 40% before and after Christmas.
The more proactive businesses out there will think ahead and push for new starts in December to avoid a backlog of open positions in January.
Candidates should make the most of this by jumping on the job hunt as soon as possible and slide their way into a role before things start to heat up.
Each Application Get’s the Attention it Deserves
While busy months for recruiters can mean flying through thousands of applications for a single role, the peace and quiet of December means each applicant has a better shot of standing out from the crowd.
Reduced workload means recruiters can take the time to check each application with a fine-tooth comb.
Great candidates are far less likely to slip through the net, and you have a much higher chance of being invited to interview.
If HR teams have fewer feet on the ground, application processes can feel slow. However, remain patient and you could find your dream job at the end of the process.
Candidates Can Stand Out From the Crowd
Although many job seekers view December as rather fruitless, the more opportunistic candidates will view the dip in applications as a chance to stand out from the crowd.
With an average of 118 people applying to any given job and only 20% getting an interview, the job market is extremely competitive.
December is a golden opportunity for job seekers to skip the queues and get first in line.
With less competition, applying for a highly-desirable role in December could give you that all-important edge.
Top Tips to For Job Hunters in December
So, there is hope after all for job seekers over the festive period. Finding a role in December is all about knowing where to look.
Here are our top tips to help candidates boost their chances of success when applying for roles during December.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take on Temporary Roles
With employees coming and going throughout the Christmas period and productivity levels often hitting an all-time low, companies are often looking for temporary employees to pick up the slack.
Even if candidates are searching for more permanent positions, temporary roles are a good way to get your foot in the door. Employers will often extend contracts to full-time positions if a temporary employee makes a fantastic first impression and impresses the team.
Temporary roles are also a great way for you to build your CV, test out potential careers and develop new skills with an intensive stint in a new company.
Wine & Dine
As most people will agree, the best thing about the holiday season is the chance to socialise. For job seekers, December is the perfect opportunity to indulge in the festivities, while also building professional networks.
Candidates should say “yes” to as many networking dinners as possible to meet industry professionals, put their name out there, and meet recruiters. Why not join a friend at their Christmas party or chat over a hot chocolate with an old colleague to explore opportunities?
We’ve even seen some of the more creative candidates send Christmas cards with their CVs attached or emailing newsletters to update their network about their career position.
With most businesses taking their foot off the gas, senior employers and hiring directors often have more time to meet for a coffee or jump on the phone for an informal chat. Reaching out to senior managers is a great way to build professional networks, ask questions and develop interview skills.
If you aren’t having much luck on the job hunt, we recommend taking a step back to review your CV and LinkedIn profile.
There’s no such thing as a perfect CV. Whether it’s checking for grammar or updating references, there’s always something that can be done to improve how you come across on paper and online.
Having an up-to-date CV and LinkedIn profile will allow you to hit the ground running when January 1st comes round.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”
Although December isn’t the hottest time of the year for job hunters, there are certainly plenty of opportunities to take advantage of.
As people’s spirits reach an all-time high over the holiday season, candidates should take a proactive approach to the job hunt and put themselves out there.
Say “yes” to as many networking opportunities as possible and act fast to secure the best jobs before they’re snapped up in the New Year.
Recruit or Work with Change
If you’d like to work at a company that puts employee happiness first, take a look at our current job openings and learn more about what we do here.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to add some exciting and reliable new talent to your business over the festive period, speak to one of our dedicated recruitment consultants to find out how we can help.
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