Sick of Losing the War for Talent? Recruit in January!

Recruiting in January

A lot of articles have been written over the years about the war for talent (indeed it brings up 261,000,000 hits on Google). It’s now widely known and acknowledged that the calibre of people you hire is critical to the success of any team or business.

With Greater Sydney unemployment sitting at 4.47% (source: ABS, June Quarter 2018), the lowest point this decade, it’s fair to say the war is about as brutal as it has ever been. If you’re not a blue-chip business paying top dollar, it’s excruciatingly hard to find good people (and even then it’s not easy).

So, how can you start winning in the war for talent?

Timing is Everything in Recruitment

Being in the right place at the right time counts for so much in recruitment circles. A candidate can go from immediately available to off the market in the space of a 30-minute interview, whilst a burning priority role can totally evaporate off the back of a single email. So, you need to use this in your favour, and try recruiting in the first month of the year.

Why January Exactly?

January is traditionally a slow month in recruitment. Plenty of hiring managers and key HR stakeholders traditionally take leave over this period, meaning recruitment naturally grinds to a halt. You only need to be missing one or two people with the authority to make final decisions to put recruitment into slow motion. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see the number of jobs on Seek halve over this period.

Meanwhile, candidates often take stock of their career over Christmas, and start the New Year looking for a new challenge, a new opportunity. And it’s the perfect time for them to be looking – they’ve often got time off to be attending interviews, writing applications, etc. Even if they are back at work now, things are often slow enough to enable them to step away from work that bit earlier or take that slightly longer lunch break to go to a meeting.

With more companies taking their foot off the recruitment accelerator in January, and more candidates having the bandwidth to push forward with opportunities, what does this mean for you? Essentially, you’re able to stack the recruitment odds more in your favour now more than any other time of year.

Making the January Hack Work

Ensure you have the necessary signoffs in place and the authority to make final decisions. And if the HR Manager/CEO/CFO/CIO absolutely must meet someone before a decision can be made, set up what’s needed to ensure that can happen – are they going to be local even if they are off work, will they be available on their mobile, can they do a coffee meeting, do they have access to FaceTime/Skype/Google Hangouts etc.?

If you can’t make a decision before the last week of January, the window of opportunity is lost. When the market swings back into gear, candidates will be exposed to so many other opportunities, and you risk your role being shuffled toward the bottom of the pile.

You also need to be confident and comfortable in making a decision without getting maximum exposure to the candidate market. There will no doubt be a pool of candidates (like companies) that go into recruitment hibernation over summer. It’s exactly this reason which makes this hack work, but some people get hung up on the idea that there might be someone better out there.

Are you looking to hire this month? Get in touch with me – I’d love to hear from you.