It is often said that December is the most wonderful time of the year — but is this the case for job seekers?
If you’re looking for a new opportunity, it still makes sense to send out resumes, network with recruiters and follow up after interviews — even if some businesses are slower, according to hiring experts.
Here’s a deeper dive into the issue — and smart tips for those on the hunt for a new position.
Do companies go into a slower ‘holiday mode’ in December?
In general, most companies are still conducting business, but the pace of business operations may vary by industry, experts note.
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“Although many companies and employees take vacation or are focused on the holidays, [the] end-of-year [time period] tends also to be a very busy time, as deadlines need to be met and onboarding new employees can be very beneficial,” Michael Timmes, a senior human resource specialist at Insperity based in Florham Park, New Jersey, told FOX Business.
The end of the year often brings a hiring slowdown, noted Timmes, though some industries do have positions to fill.
“December is statistically believed to be the lowest hiring month of the year, but this isn’t reliable across all sectors as certain industries, such as retail, are in their busiest season of the year and hiring remains level, if not increased,” he said.
“Hiring managers are recruiting, and many of them are looking to fill vacancies rather than having a hiring frenzy come January.”
Furthermore, with the end of the year comes the end of the annual budgeting process, noted Timmes.
If there are surplus funds, a portion may be used by hiring managers to attract new employees to onboard ahead of the New Year, he also said.
Should job seekers keep sending out resumes in December?
Experts advise keeping your job search going, as your resume may hit the desk of a hiring manager at just the right time.
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“You should absolutely send out resumes during December,” Timmes underscored.
“Also, even if the seeker isn’t hired in December, it’s a great way to get a jump-start on the new year hiring process — and interviews may begin in late December or early January,” he added.
Also, job seekers may not be as focused on end-of-year job hunting, which allows for a smaller pool of competition, Timmes says.
Are hiring managers actively recruiting in December?
Human resources personnel are indeed recruiting in December, said Timmes.
“Hiring managers are recruiting, and many of them are looking to fill vacancies rather than having a hiring frenzy come January,” he says.
“Temporary jobs can often turn into full-time positions.”
“Keep in mind [that] we continue to see a labor shortage in many industries,” he continued.
“Forward-thinking organizations are taking new approaches to find and retain talent.”
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In addition, he says the year’s end is a good time to onboard and train employees, especially if the office is slower due to the holidays.
“Like job seekers seeing less competition in December, companies will also have less competition when seeking top talent,” Timmes added.
In addition, specific companies will be looking to fill temporary positions, as they may need help on end-of-year projects and deadlines, he said.
“Temporary jobs can often turn into full-time positions,” Timmes noted.
What can job seekers do to promote and improve their search efforts?
Job experts say there’s really never a bad time to reach out to your professional community.
“Make sure [your online] profile is always updated with the right skills; this matters even more in an economic downturn.”
“Don’t be disheartened if responses are a bit slow,” Blair Heitmann, a career expert with LinkedIn based in New York City, told FOX Business.
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“While you might see a few more OOO [out of office] notes at the end of the year, it’s still a good time to say ‘happy holidays’ and set a check-in for the New Year,” she added.
“You’ll be better prepared once business returns to normal in January.”
Furthermore, connecting with your network at the end of the year is also smart if your mindset is, “new year new job,” said Heitmann.
“Check out who is hiring in your LinkedIn network — and your network’s network,” she recommended.
Another tip: Take the time to update your profile to get noticed.
“Make sure it’s always updated with the right skills; [this] matter[s] even more in an economic downturn,” Heitmann continued.
“Since we know hirers are increasingly relying on skills to search and identify job candidates, keeping these updated is key,” she also said.
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