You might think the holidays are a time to take a break. But as I’ve found out, it can be the best time for recruiting. After all, candidates are thinking about money, and to make money, they need jobs. Those who are employed have great excuses for leaving the office. Unless your boss is a grinch, they won’t deny you time to complete holiday shopping (except if you’re off to a special meeting).
For you, recruiting during the holidays means you’ll probably run into less competition. Many companies don’t have the money now to budget for recruiting. But many are focused on their brand image, while college recruiting is up this time of year. Believe it or not, people are thinking about work; not all job seekers celebrate the same holidays, and many use their free time to think about their next move.
Here are some of the more effective do’s to think about:
Use Social Media
Chances are, your job prospects are on social media with their friends, sending holiday greetings, and shopping online. More time online means possible recruiting opportunities for you. Lots of people will be using their free time to update their profiles and content, even on LinkedIn (my favorite) and polishing up their resumes.
Target Mobile Users
Whether they stay home or travel, your prospects will take their phones. Calls and texts from family members and friends can come in at any time. People shop from the same smartphones they fill out job applications, so you can find candidates as soon as they apply.
Spread the Cheer
Sometimes it’s fine to mix work and fun. Wish your job prospects a Merry Christmas or send good vibes for any holiday you know they celebrate. This lets you relate to them on a personal level. Job candidates want to know you see them as real people, not just prospects to consider for a job position. If it’s relevant, even invite them to a potential employer’s holiday party. It gives you an opportunity to introduce them to the company’s staff and culture.
And, since there will likely be less calling and interviewing to do, try and source some prospects during the holidays. You never know who you might find.
The don’ts you should strongly avoid now include:
Don’t Call Job Prospects on the Holiday
A phone call for a job on Christmas sends the wrong message. Everyone needs their time off to be with family and friends. Only call if you know the candidate is open to such a communication that day.
Don’t Be Pushy If Your Prospect Is Busy
It’s understandable, and expected, that people will be busy this time of year. If someone says they’re busy, take their word for it. The holidays can be stressful. People will avoid you if you add extra stress to their life.
Put Your Recruiting Efforts Off
The longer you put things off, the harder it will be to get back in the swing of things. While you might not get everything done that you want, use your time to update your brand, create more effective job descriptions, and set your goals for the new year. Looking back on your efforts over the past year can help too, as you can toss away what didn’t work and develop ideas that worked for you and that have promise.