Forgot the December Slowdown: Keep Recruiting on Track

Many people make the mistake of thinking that recruiting slows down in December and January. They put their hiring activities on hold, waiting for budgets and workforce plans to be reviewed and approved. What a loss!

Just think: the global average time-to-fill for a vacancy is currently 68 days, and still increasing. Finding the right people takes time—and the more challenging the role, the longer the recruitment cycle.

If you press pause on your recruiting activities this December, waiting until people are back from the holidays, then the earliest you could make your first hire of 2016 could be mid-March. That’s the entire first quarter gone!

Then if you think how long it takes to onboard and bring a new employee up to speed—about 60 days on average for a Sales Rep, for example—well, you can do the math. That’s a significant loss of time, productivity, and potential revenue.

While you may not be sourcing new candidates on December 24th, there are plenty of strategic recruiting activities that you can tackle this upcoming holiday season to help reduce your time to source for new roles in the New Year. According to Jennifer Bouyoukos, VP, Talent Management at Argus Software, "This time of year is the most strategic.  Now is the opportunity to execute on some of the most important elements of recruitment like branding, workforce planning and mapping critical talent".  

Here are five ideas to help get you started:

  1. Build Talent Pools: If your company is looking to grow, you’ll already have some idea of the ideal profile for the type of people you want to add to your team. Now’s your opportunity to use tools like LinkedIn to start researching and building talent pools for upcoming vacancies. Look for benchmarks at organizations that hire like you, and save potential candidate profiles in a folder. If you want to be proactive reach out to your connections who know these individuals and ask for a warm introduction. One networking coffee date could be your next awesome hire.
  2. Activate or Refresh Your “Free” Internet Real Estate: Candidates—especially those who are “window shopping” over the holidays—will be searching the web for more information on your company, your culture, and what makes you a great employer. What are they going to find? Sites like GlassdoorIndeed, and Stack Overflow allow you to post pictures, write reviews, and share what it’s like to work for your firm. It’s imperative that you monitor these sites regularly and refresh the content on an ongoing basis, especially when you are ramping up hiring. Sites like Glassdoor also provide analytics for who’s viewing your company profile—average age, education, and much more. Use these insights to begin to plan your recruiting strategy and craft the right message for your audience.
  3. Get Published/Create Content: Even if you’re not planning to hire until the New Year, write and share an article or blog post. You can talk about how you grew your culture, how you’re creating or disrupting a market, how your workplace is different—or whatever it is that makes you great and that potential job seekers may find compelling. Articles and blog posts are also a great way to support your recruitment messaging, build buzz, and expand your social media reach.
  4. Rewrite Your Job Postings: The pressure is always on to ‘hurry up and just post the job!’  The result—no time to be creative and out goes a stale job ad that attracts all the wrong candidates. 

Boring ads don’t create enthusiasm in potential candidates or your referral network. We can’t stress it enough—the best candidates crave something new and different from employers. Get ahead and start working on your posting strategy. Be bold. Tell a story. To start, take a look at your old job ad and ask yourself, “Why is this important?” after each line five times. For example, “We have been in business for 20 years” – why is this important? Stability. Why is stability important? And so on. This will help you drill down to your real messaging, and help you gain a fresh perspective  on how to communicate with your target audience.  

 According to Rob McDougall, President/CEO at Upstream Works Software, “Our [TalentMinded] job ads generated higher quality candidate  applications all around. As a result, we tapped into new talent pools and found the right fit for our company fast.”

5.  Sharpen Your Interview Skills: “Slow” times are the best times to brush up your skills—and the skills of your hiring managers. Identify skills gaps and create a plan to address those areas through targeted training workshops or programs. For example, TalentMinded offers a two-hour Interviewing Skills Workshop that helps managers improve their probing and assessment skills, and enables them to make better hiring decisions. This interactive training is loaded with creative activities and role-play, and makes a real difference in hiring managers’ effectiveness. 

Still stuck? Check out this blog—Think about your recruitment process like sales and marketing. What activities are happening in your sales and marketing departments right now that you can mirror in recruitment?

Recruitment shouldn’t slow down during the holidays. Careful planning and strategic thinking now will pay off in increased productivity and better metrics in the New Year.

At TalentMinded we help companies scale through better talent acquisition programs.  We provide a monthly managed recruitment platform that includes people, process, tools and technology at a fraction of the cost of staffing firms. Our solutions are more strategic and insightful than traditional in-house models and can scale with you.  Find out more about why our clients rave about being more TalentMinded.  

Need more insights and ideas - drop me a line - kim@talentminded.ca