End of Year Hiring: What You Need to Know

hiring recruiting

It’s December. That magical time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day where no one wants to answer your email or attend your meeting (probably). That might be hard to hear. But I guarantee if you ask yourself deep down if you would want to answer your email or attend your meeting right now, the answer might be, “...no.”

Tech lay-offs might be all the rage right now, but on a whole companies are very much still hiring. According to the Q4 ManPower Group Employment Survey, employers reported a Net Employment Outlook of +33%. Even the BLS Employment report has a more positive outlook than your LinkedIn feed. Side note: I can’t be the only one who loves that the BLS Employment report refers to itself as, “The Employment Situation.” 

So, how do you hire during the holiday season? By practicing everyone's favorite soft skill at work and home, patience. That’s right. Your spine just shuddered and, don’t worry, mine did too.

While your need might be urgent and great, the candidate’s need to make a jump might not be. People can be hesitant to make a move at the end of the year. They want to finish the projects they've been working on all year. They are tired. They’ve worked their butts off for eleven months and most likely have their holiday PTO already planned and approved. 

As an employer, there are a few key things to remember when hiring for a new team member at this time of year: 

  1. Candidates will be slower to respond. They may be taking time off from everything, including their job hunt, to refresh. A slow response time doesn’t mean disinterest. 
  2. Ask about their ideal start date. While this is a common practice for recruiters, it’s usually not for hiring managers or entrepreneurs. If you haven’t built in gauging a timeline with candidates into your recruiting process, now is the time. Some candidates will not want to start a new job before the first week in January; other candidates might be willing if you can still honor any PTO days they might have planned between now and then. And don't be afraid to honor those days if it's reasonable for your needs. A few days off at the beginning of someone's employment is nothing compared to the long-term impact they'll have on your company.
  3. Be flexible. Maybe you have a mission critical project with a 12/31/22 deadline. Here's a hard truth: you may or may not be able to hire someone to help you hit that deadline. Make a plan to get it done without them and take this as a lesson in workforce planning.

Hiring in December is hard, but it’s doable. Just remember your need isn’t everyone else’s emergency. Practice some methodical hiring. Be intentional. And be patient.