Hiring during the holiday season is a struggle – even downright nonexistent.
Not only are new job postings scarce, most qualified candidates are not looking to enter into an interview process until after the 1st of the year.
Despite these facts, Goliath will not be enjoying a month-long break – just the opposite, in fact.
We’ll be hard at work because we’ve learned an important lesson: This is the time of year for candidates and hiring companies to truly separate themselves.
After all, both job seekers and hiring companies need to know that the holiday season, if used wisely, can make the difference between landing a dream job and living with the status quo, the difference between the top talent and an average applicant.
Of course, ‘tis the season to be jolly. But, yes, ‘tis also the season for employers and job seekers to sharpen up in three specific ways.
1. Resume Refresh
If the New Year will find you looking for a new job, the same old, standard looking resume may not allow you to stand out from the candidate crowd.
Take time during the holidays to make sure that your resume is fresh, free of mistakes and completely up-to-date. Nothing will kill new job aspirations quicker than a poorly thought-out resume listing skills that have little to do with those required by the job posting.
It’s time to dust off the stacks of old resume you’ve kept on file for previously filled positions and to push hiring managers and your H.R. department to assess the depth of your candidate pools.
In preparation for the job postings that will begin in January, companies should be asking themselves:
- Do we have a portfolio of existing resumes that could be a fit for our next opportunities?
- When was the last time we reached out to previous applicants for similar positions?
- How are we continuing to tell past candidates about our new and existing job postings?
Taking a few weeks during this “dead” period to answer these questions will allow for an easier process in identifying qualified candidates for future job listings.
2. Address Skill Gaps
As you update your resume, make a list of any skill gaps that employers may notice.
These gaps can be related to technical, job skills, certification or training related or geographical. Whichever category they fall into, have a plan to address such gaps during the interview process.
Possible “gap fillers” could include the need to pursue formal coursework, to complete additional on-the-job-training in your current position or to pitch the idea of offering a relocation package as part of a job offer.
Sorting through the pile of resumes past will be a good start in making sure your hiring processes are reactive, efficient and appealing to potential candidates.
Taking stock of the past year’s best and not-so-great hiring experience should provide a solid blueprint of how your company stands out to the most qualified candidates in the tight labor market.
The community of tradesman is small and tightly connected – they talk. Do you know what they are saying about your company?
Make sure you do.
3. Create a Time-Bound Hiring or Getting Hired Plan
The time from initial contact from a recruiter to the review of a job offer can seem like a very long time – typically a few months.
During the next month, devise a plan that gets you to the new job in the timeline that works for you.
For example, if moving in February would be best, plan to start the process of applying for positions in late December so that a normal interview process will not work against your own timing goals.
Over the next month, it’s time to plan out the forecasted hiring needs through as much of the year as possible. At a minimum, lay out the timing and skill needs of major projects that will drive the need for locating new applicants.
The pace of next year’s hiring plan should create a marketing strategy designed at managing the time needed in the interview process and minimizing the last-minute scrambling for unforeseen hiring needs.
Sure, unplanned projects will come up, but taking time to plan now will provide a competitive advantage in making sure all internal teams and external candidates are aligned to the forecasted needs of the business.
As tempting as it may seem to fold up the hiring tent in late November and December, fight the urge. The truth is, the holiday season can be instrumental in the success of next year.
For job seekers, now is the time to plan for the next career step.
For hiring companies, the holidays provide a perfect opportunity to stand out from other companies with less foresight – to separate from your competitors who are waiting until January to reach out to the most qualified candidates in the industry.
It is time to act now.
‘Tis the season.
Need help finding qualified candidates, formulating a hiring plan or writing a resume that stands out?