December is a month often marked by holiday time off and reviewing budgets, so it’s easy to assume this isn’t the best time of year to look for a new job.
But some HR experts say those factors, among other things, are actually why December is the ideal time to start a job hunt.
Of more than 500 human resources or hiring managers surveyed by Accounting Principals, a recruiting company under the umbrella of Adecco Group North America, 94% recommend job-seekers keep up their search through the end of the year.
If you’re in the market for a new job, here’s why you should start looking now instead of waiting until January:
1. There are plenty of jobs out there.
“Many people take off from work during December, so job seekers often take that as a cue that human resources professionals are out of the office and hiring comes to a halt in December,” Joe Weinlick, senior vice president of marketing at Beyond, an online career network, tells Business Insider. “Based on our conversations with human resource managers, this is a myth.”
While some people will tell you that no one wants to hire in December, Accounting Principals senior vice president Kathy Gans tells Business Insider that at this point many employers have anticipated their needs for 2016, and with their budgets set, they have already begun the search for candidates so they can hit the ground running in the New Year.
“To take advantage of this time, job hunters should connect with recruiters now to get on their radar ahead of the New Year rush,” she says.
2. There’s less competition.
From analysing Beyond’s member data, Weinlick says he sees a drop off in job seeker activity over the Thanksgiving holiday through the end of December.
“Most people want to take some time to enjoy the festivities and spend time with family,” he says. “This naturally means less time spent focusing on work or looking for a job.”
With other candidates taking a break from their job search during the holidays, Gans says it’s easier to stand out from the crowd and get ahead of the game by January, when the rest of the talent pool is just making the decision to switch jobs.
“Be sure to keep up your conversations throughout the holidays,” she advises. “Recruiters are more likely to place a candidate that has been in contact with them throughout the holidays than those who have been unresponsive.”
That means also keeping your schedule flexible.
“Employers that are looking to make new hires before the new year may have limited time slots for interviewing because key decision makers are on vacation,” Weinlick says. “Be willing to come in and meet with people on short notice if asked.”
3. Hiring managers may feel more pressure to find candidates.
“December can be a frustrating month for recruiters as many job candidates have taken a break from job seeking during the holiday,” Weinlick says. “Good candidates are more likely to stand out.”
He says that now more than ever, time to hire is a metric that’s being used to measure a recruiter’s success. So if there’s a job opening, the bottom line is that that job needs to be filled sooner rather than later.
4. There are more networking opportunities.
“The holiday season is filled with holiday parties and events, which makes it the perfect time of year to network,” Gans says.
Whether it’s a holiday party thrown by family and friends or a business function hosted by a professional association, she says there are plenty of opportunities to let others know you’re in the market for a new job.
“Fellow party-goers may be willing to put you in touch with potential connections,” Gans says.
5. Hiring managers may be in better moods.
Based on feedback from job seekers, Weinlick says recruiters and hiring managers
are typically happier and easier to approach during the holidays.
“Approaching them while they are in a thankful and charitable mindset increases your chances of successfully securing an interview,” he says.
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