It’s that time of year when we get excited for Halloween costumes and trick or treating. And then to Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. For most people, this is the time of year where things slow down and we focus on family, wrapping up the year at work, and new year’s resolutions.
So what will you dress up as for Halloween? If you are a savvy job-seeker, you will be showing off your best interview suit. Instead of ugly Christmas sweaters, you should be sporting a suit and new shoes. Why? Because if you are considering a new job in the next 6 months, the best time to look for that opportunity is now. Here are four reasons why you should start your job search during the holidays.
- Less competition for open positions
For most people, searching for a new job opportunity is not only a daunting task but one with a significant amount of risk. Many risk losing their hard earned yearly bonus or their highly coveted PTO needed to travel to see family if they leave their jobs. For others, the stress and burden of starting a new position and coping with the stress of the holidays is too much, thereby postponing their search. This allows for less people to be applying and interviewing for the same positions.
- Less risk of a hiring freeze
Most companies scrutinize their budgets pretty closely at the beginning of the last quarter of the year. Typically, if a hiring freeze or layoffs are going to happen they are announced by the beginning of October and certainly by November 1st. This means that if companies are advertising an open position in the last months of the year, it will certainly be filled quickly.
- Budgets are everything
Similar to a hiring freeze, managers always want to ensure they spend extra money in their budget. Most hiring budgets reset at the beginning of the next year which means the belt tightens and hiring managers have to jump through many more “justification” hoops before they can bring new people on board. Performance reviews are typically completed by Quarter 4. If a hiring manager is going to blow their budget metrics, it is preferred to take all the hits in the current year. Staring the new year with added labor expenses that come from hiring and extra hours spent training a new employee never helps with budget justification.
- The pain is greater during the holidays
Productivity increased significantly during the Great Recession. While it would be great to believe that this was a result of efficiency, the reality is that it came from many employees doing multiple jobs and working significant hours. Most employees have an excess of PTO at the end of the year that they risk losing, therefore a shortage in a department is much more painful during the holidays.Managers are more motivated to hire and on-board quickly because often times teams operate with a skeleton crew during the holidays. Combining excess PTO and low head count can create a holiday nightmare for most managers. Anyone with a shortage during the holidays will be extremely motivated to find the right individual.If you see yourself making a move in 2013, now is the time to start the process. Don’t let your New Year Resolution be to find a new job, go after it now.