Christmas and the New Year can be notorious for low candidate numbers, as jobseekers look to take some time off the festive season. Permanent workers may be hesitant to launch into a new job so close to the end of the year, while temporary workers may reject work so they can spend an extended period with their families and friends.
However, for recruiters, it remains a busy time of year. Job numbers continue to increase, as businesses still need staff throughout the period. It’s also the ideal time to check in with candidates, as January tends to be the busiest time of the year in terms of market movement.
So how do you satisfy this demand? Finding candidates in the unlikeliest of places can be made easier with a few simple strategies:
Networking and advocacy
Every recruiter worth their salt should know the importance of networking. At no time of year is this more obvious than at Christmas, when having a strong contact list can make the difference between filling a role and not. Connections can provide referrals, suggestions and insights and possibly give you the headstart you need over the next few months. Christmas parties and Christmas candidate networking events are just two of the ways you can build and expand your network – you never know who you might meet!
Employee advocacy can also prove incredibly effective in reaching candidates you might not otherwise be able to access. Research has shown that potential employees are much more likely to trust the reviews of a company when they’re written by existing employees, family or friends, so encouraging existing candidates to spread the word could result in a better-quality talent pool. 1
To do this, consider doubling the referral fee or incentive for existing candidates for the next few weeks, host a social media competition or introduce an initiative to encourage potential candidates to interview before the end of the year.
If a candidate recognises and appreciates your brand, they are more likely to approach you for work opportunities. Therefore, building a positive and established voice in the market will make it easier to attract talent and put you above competitors when contending for a candidate’s time. What’s more, with limited resources, it may be time to tap into your database of passive candidates. If your brand catches their eye, approaching them for potential opportunities could be a lot easier.
It’s also worth remembering that this isn’t a Christmas-specific activity – keeping active in the industry is a year-round initiative and helps to build credibility.
17% of jobseekers now use social media to find a new role2, so advertising across the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn could prove incredibly beneficial when looking to build a consistent talent pool for the holidays. These platforms have been shown to be incredibly useful for attracting passive candidates in particular, with 80% of employers noting that social recruiting helps them reach those that aren’t actively looking3. Think about creating a hashtag, using images and scheduling posts for maximum engagement.
However, before embarking on your social media strategy, it’s also worth investing time in ensuring your social media accounts are up to date – there would be nothing worse than turning candidates off with inconsistent information or branding.
It’s not just social media that can help. Consider using your external communications, including emails and blogs, to encourage candidates to apply over the festive season. Even if they aren’t available for December, it places your database in good stead for the January rush. Increasing the volume of targeted mail merge emails is also worth considering – you’ll be reaching right into their inbox with specific roles, encouraging applications.
Mobile recruitment continues to be one of the more pressing issues in the industry. With 45% of jobseekers searching for jobs daily on their mobile, and 89% thinking mobiles play a crucial role in the job hunting process4, it’s become an incredibly effective way to find new talent. It’s essential to make sure your careers pages are mobile-friendly and any relevant forms are optimized for the smaller devices. The easier it is for candidates to apply for a role, the better!
About the author: David Morel is the CEO/Founder of Tiger Recruitment, one of London’s leading secretarial/administrative recruitment agencies. David founded Tiger in 2001 and has written extensively in the press and wider media advising both employers and job seekers on best recruitment practice.