The myth that the holiday season is a bad time for recruitment is about as persistent and long-lived as the legend of jolly old St. Nick. As the traditional year-end festivities swing into high gear, many HR personnel and hiring managers practically close up shop, assuming that candidates will be too distracted by the holidays to pay much mind to their job searches.
It's certainly true that the holiday season is a busy time of year for applicants and hiring managers alike. But that doesn't mean that you should put your recruitment efforts on hold as soon as the holidays roll around.
In fact, many of the same arguments that are used to make the case against holiday hiring can actually be turned around to your advantage if you play your cards right. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider devoting more time and resources to your recruitment efforts during the holiday season.
Make the most of your annual hiring budget.
Many companies establish a yearly budget line item for recruitment and hiring costs. If your organization's hiring budget cycle is linked to the calendar year, holiday hiring can help you ensure that you make the most of the recruitment resources at your disposal -- and help you avoid dipping into next year's funds premature
The holidays offer a cornucopia of natural networking opportunities.
With all the holiday parties, luncheons, potlucks, and other shindigs that you're likely to attend between Thanksgiving and the New Year, you have a wealth of opportunities to connect with potential hires. Make the most of the festive mood and frequent get-togethers during this time of year by chatting up your industry contacts whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Many candidates have more schedule flexibility at this time of year.
The holidays are often busy for hospitality industry employees, but with scheduled days off and more leeway than usual for last-minute absences, it's often easier for candidates to find the time to come in for an interview during the holiday season. You'll be able to increase your chances of landing top talent even more if you allow candidates to schedule interviews and meet-and-greets during off hours.
You're more likely to get the cream of the crop.
Think of it this way -- the candidates who put in the time and effort to sustain a job hunt during the busy holiday season have already gone a long way toward demonstrating a superior level of diligence and dedication. You'll have an added measure of assurance that the applicants you screen this month really have their heart set on succeeding in a new position.
Capitalize on candidates' New Year's resolutions.
Many employees like the idea of kicking off a new year with a great new job. If you maintain a steady pace of screening and interviewing candidates in the weeks leading up to the holidays, you can have the ink drying on the new employee paperwork by the time January 1st rolls around. You'll fill the gaps in your staff -- and you'll give your new hires a great shot at a fresh start in the new year.
The holiday season may not seem like a great time for hiring, but if you look beyond the hustle and bustle and hullabaloo of this time of year, you'll find many opportunities to connect with well-qualified candidates. With just a bit of ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking, you can make the most of the unique recruitment advantages that this time of year offers.
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