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Christmas: a time of risk & opportunity

12.12.2014

Christmas: a time of risk & opportunity

Why December should be a key month in your recruitment calendar.

December simply isn’t like any other time of the year. Aside from an overwhelming urge to put the diet on hold, dress your house in fairy lights and watch Home Alone, the month offers up both high-risk and great opportunity for employers.

The risk comes in terms of staff retention. December is in general a quiet month for recruitment, but January is a notoriously busy one for people beginning to search for a new challenge.

The closer you get to the festive period, the more office productivity tends to slow, meaning your team has extra time on their hands to think about their current role, career and future options.

If you combine this with an increase in monthly personal spending, New Year resolutions being just around the corner and people already having received their annual bonus, then it’s clear to see that this is a critical time for employers to ensure their staff feel appreciated, happy and secure.

Assuming you already have a positive culture of support and team work in place at your organisation, then the flip-side of this festive predicament is of course the opportunity it presents to recruit.

As others in your industry begin to wind down, you’re gifted with a golden opportunity that has the potential to see you hit the ground running in January and gain a big advantage over your competitors.

While you might have traditionally used the extra time December offers to develop next year’s strategy, just take a moment to consider how well your plans will be implemented if your best staff decide to leave in January, or you can’t find the right people to help you drive things forward.

Currently the number one barrier preventing business growth in the North East is finding and recruiting top talent. So if you’re working in a sector which has challenging market conditions and a scarce supply of great people, rather than take your foot off the pedal, you should instead keep the momentum going.

By beginning your winter recruitment now rather than waiting until the New Year, you will be able to take advantage of a time when a lot of potential new employees are not only joining the market, but are also able to excuse themselves from work to meet with you more easily.

As people take time out to reflect on their options, the additional pressures a chaotic run up to the holiday period can bring, all too often influence and alter what it is that motivates them.

Money can emerge as a driver where previously it perhaps wasn’t. Similarly, people may be more open to considering opportunities that they wouldn’t have entertained earlier in the year, so you have to be opportunistic.

Technology is another changing variable that now helps to make December recruitment possible. Traditionally people would be met with radio silence if they tried to recruit around a holiday period, especially Christmas.

Now technology means people don’t switch off in the same way they used to when they are away from work. Social media is an ever present in many people’s lives today, and a mobile phone is never far away from the majority; especially when they have a little more time on their hands.

More contactable and receptive candidates, with very little competition, seems like an opportunity not to be missed and could really put you in the driving seat for 2015.

New recruits would not only signify your ambition for the coming year, but also help to fire up your existing team and get everyone ready and raring to go.

Don’t tell anyone, but if I didn’t know better, I might even say that December was in fact the perfect time for you to recruit.

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