Intentional Recruitment Strategies to Best Navigate the Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us and another business year coming to a close! Having spent more than 13 years in the recruitment industry, I am reminded of familiar statements I’ve heard countless times and which arise around this time of the year from clients and candidates alike:  

  • “No one hires in December.”
  • “December is always slow.”
  • “Everyone is on vacation over the holidays.”
  • “It’s impossible to schedule interviews near Christmas and the New Year.”
  • “It’s a great month to get caught up on administrative tasks like data entry.”

It’s true; some companies do slow their hiring process in December and many hiring managers go on vacation. However, allowing yourself to get caught in the idea of a “slow down” can result in missed recruitment opportunities just as it can impact a candidate’s success in landing a new role. As we speed through the holiday season, consider the following four "intentional recruitment strategies" to keep the momentum going and propel your candidate engagement and outreach into 2018!

1. Finish Strong – Close Those Reqs!
As a team, review all remaining open requisitions and collaborate on how you can assist each other in closing them. Rotate roles if they are feeling stale or challenge each other with fun sourcing contests. As a recruiter, it can be challenging wanting to rely on the help of others; you don’t want to be a burden or add extra work to the plates of others. That said, your colleagues are likely in a similar spot. Idea sharing, collaborating and supporting one another can do more than help close open requisitions – it can build your connections at work, spark workforce engagement, incite trust among your peers.   

2. Keep Candidates Warm, Ask for Referrals
Staying connected with your talent pool and continuing to build relationships with active and placed candidates can yield positive results when it comes to building out your referral network, making future placements and improving the candidate experience. In fact, 75 percent of the global workforce right now consists of passive candidates; only 45 percent of these candidates are “open” to speaking with a recruiter. By remaining engaged with your networks, you set the stage for future passive candidate movement, even if the results don’t show until weeks or months down the road. 

Use the time you have right now to wish your candidates “Season’s Greetings!” while providing them with updates on current and upcoming roles. Encourage them in return to provide you with an update on their interest level and availability, or maybe they have a specific referral in mind. Of note, nearly 30 percent of companies have increased their reliance on referral programs in 2017, while 85 percent of business leaders believe the workforce (i.e., you) is their strongest employment branding tool (of which referrals plays an integral role). In this way, you can do more than draw the interest of top candidates; you can help build on your company’s brand ambassadorship!

3. Fill the Gaps – Meaningful Downtime Activities
This can be a great time to focus on data integrity and “desk” organization. We all have priority recruitment activities that take our primary focus throughout the year, and well maintained applicant tracking system (ATS) and candidate relationship management (CRM) tools are paramount for recruiters; they help us to stay organized and allow for accurate business reporting which is essential for metrics. Use your free time to complete audits, updates, and cleanups to records and files so that you are ready to start fresh in the new year.

In one particular study, researchers asked participants to solve several work-related problems in a cluttered and a clean environment. The team who solved it in a cleaner, more organized environment was able to get the job done twice as quickly. This may seem obvious and straightforward (it is!), but it never hurts to take stock of your in-office or at-home workspace, both offline and virtual. It will improve your productivity.

4. Goal Setting – Plan Ahead
Find out what roles you can expect at the outset of 2018 and throughout the first quarter. Begin proactive recruitment campaigns to build prospective talent pools based on the information you can gather for these roles. When the position does open in the new year, you will be ahead of the game! Proactivity, in the same vein as organization, can improve productivity. It can also turn the heads of leadership!

Ultimately, tackling the holiday season with intentional recruitment strategies will not only help you finish 2017 strong, it will set you up for a productive start to 2018! If you're in the recruitment field, you know full well that workloads are high, deadlines tight, and the need for efficiency paramount. Small adjustments, collaboration and checks/audits can have a lasting impact. Happy Holidays!

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Topics:
Global Recruitment Candidate Experience Career Advice Talent Communities

Susan Ferguson

Susan Ferguson is Recruitment Consultant who supports RPO projects for technology clients throughout Canada. She has more than 10 years of experience in corporate HR, IT professional services and employment agency sectors – specializing over the past five years in SAP and IT recruitment. Susan brings a client-comes-first ideology and is passionate about putting the extra effort in to exceed expectations. She also strives to support her team’s engagement through the facilitation of internal training initiatives.