As the saying goes, “to everything there is a season” and that includes hiring.
Anyone who’s ever looked for a job at the end of the year knows just how slowly things move. To a lesser extent, the same is true during the dog days of summer.
It’s also true that more hiring occurs during the first half of the year than it does after June.
The reasons for these hiring cycles are no mystery. With the new year comes new budgets. Managers who left jobs unfilled to improve their year-end numbers now rush to fill them. Spring sees another hiring jump as companies bring on college graduates.
As we move into July and August, recruiters and hiring managers often go on vacation. The pace of work in the summer naturally slows. Then, as September nears and CFOs begin their fourth quarter and full-year projections, more than a few companies will curtail hiring to help the bottom line.
Finally, there’s a pick-up in October as retailers and logistics firms bring on hundreds of thousands of seasonal workers to handle the holiday rush.
How much the Covid pandemic has upset these cycles is anyone’s guess. With so many of us working from home these last several months and so many popular attractions shuttered, taking a vacation seems pointless, if not downright risky.
Instead of a slowdown, we’re seeing employers recalling laid off workers by the hundreds of thousands, as businesses slowly reopen across the country. It may be next year before we see a return to historic hiring cycles.
You can see the evidence of these ups and downs in the employment data the US Department of Labor compiles. We averaged the number of hires and quits every month from 2010 to 2019 to illustrate the cycles.
As the chart above shows, hiring is strong in the first six months of the year, then falls off through the end of the year, except for the October blip due to the hiring of temps.
Recruiters who understand this seasonality can use it to their advantage. When everyone else is on vacation or thinking of backyard barbecues, the competition for the best talent slackens. With the slower pace of summer and around the holidays, candidates are more available and often easier to reach. They’re also not hearing from other recruiters, yet, as the chart shows, workers are still changing jobs.
The message here is that the down hiring cycles are a smart time to recruit. It’s important, though, to be prepared. As the chart makes abundantly clear, more workers will typically quit their job in August than in any other month. That’s a signal to begin filling your pipeline in July.
The same is true at the end of the year. That’s when the fewest companies are hiring. It’s also when fewer people are looking. All of which makes it a great time to reach out to candidates. And especially to passive candidates, who may just be thinking of making “Find a new job” one of their New Year’s resolutions.
Visage can make your “off-cycle” recruiting an overnight success. Within mere hours of posting your job needs to our platform, a team of specialized sourcers will begin delivering candidates perfectly matched to your needs by our patented AI process.
While your competitors are shopping Amazon, you’re talking with your next software developer, senior accountant or physical therapist. We can help you fill almost any job in any industry. And your silver and bronze finalists become part of your talent pipeline, ready for you when the next opening comes up.
So don’t do as the herd does. Work with our Visage sourcing team to leverage down hiring cycles and beat your competition to great talent.