If you’re planning to wait until the new year to start your job search, you might want to reconsider.
Contrary to popular opinion, December is a great time to be job hunting, says Tony Beshara, author of The Job Search Solution
“If you think nobody interviews or hires during the holidays, you need to think again,” says Beshara, president of the Dallas-based recruiting firm Babich & Associates. “When a company needs to hire, December is no different than any other time of year. Too many people wait for the New Year, but there are no more openings in January than there are in December.”
In fact, Beshara says December is the second or third busiest month of the year for hiring. While the month is interrupted with holidays, opportunities are still out there. He offers four reasons why the holidays are a great time to start or continue your job search:
The holidays are a time for joy and merriment, and the parade of treats, parties, and gifts puts many people in a good mood. In addition, hiring authorities have often received end-of-the-year bonuses, and that can put them in good spirits, too, says Beshara.
“A good bonus makes someone a little more up and happy with their company,” says Beshara. “If you’re a job candidate, it’s always better to be interviewed by someone who is relaxed and in a good mood.”
Most candidates take time off of their job search during the holidays, and that means there are less people competing for interview slots.
“During the holidays, companies won’t have as many other people to look at,” says Beshara. “After the first of the year there will be lots of people, especially those who decided to change jobs after receiving a disappointing year-end bonus or raise. The number of candidates increases in January, but the number of job opportunities does not.”
Companies often procrastinate on filling vacant positions and put off the hiring process for months. The end of the year brings a sudden urgency to getting those spots filled so budget dollars aren’t taken away or reallocated elsewhere, says Beshara.
“If they’re like most organizations, they’ve known since July that they needed to hire somebody,” he says. “Hiring is a pain in the neck, and a lot of people put it off.”
Beshara says many companies heat up their candidate search during December, wanting to have the person in place for the New Year. The holiday season, therefore, becomes the time they interview and make decisions about new employees.
During the last two weeks of the year, most hiring authorities don’t travel. That means they have time to interview and they can sign off on decisions.
“You can get hired a lot of faster than normal during the holidays because the right people are available to talk to you, and they’re eager to get people in place,” says Beshara. “If you need a job, you need to keep looking. Don’t take a vacation right now.”