Holiday Hiring How-To

We know why most companies don’t often hire over the holidays, but why does the candidate pool seem to dry up, too, and what can you do about it?

Most companies don’t often hire over the holidays, but why does the candidate pool seem to dry up?

While many companies report a slowdown in hiring around the winter holiday season to stay within the current year’s budgets, quite a few still need temporary or permanent staffing to subsidize their current staff. For some it’s to add a little manpower to ensure projects are finished are on time. For others, it’s to bring in a particular expertise and prepare for the new year. However, if you’re looking to hire around the holidays, you may be surprised to find it’s not easy to get candidates to consider new opportunities – even generous ones. With fewer opportunities out there, why aren’t candidates knocking down your doors?

The Risks Experienced IT Staff Face

Here are some holiday hiring truths we hear over and over from candidates:

  • I have a lot of vacation time to use or lose and I cannot start until after the first of the year.
  • I am waiting on an end of year bonus and cannot afford to leave it on the table.
  • End of year raises are coming and I am due for a pretty good one.
  • I am in a permanent role now, and am not interested in leaving for a contract.
  • I might receive the promotion I’ve been waiting for.

Notice, the candidate’s perspectives are very personal. It’s risky enough to switch jobs at any time, but it feels exponentially riskier to switch jobs before a holiday season when families are planning to spend more of their hard-earned money on gifts and well-earned time off on travel. In case of remote jobs you need not switch jobs hence find your comfort zone.New opportunities around the holidays become less an individual decision and more of a family decision.

Is Holiday Hiring an ROI Nightmare?

The fact is, experienced IT staff have usually earned quite a few holiday perks and wooing them may take a little more than at other times of the year. If you’re a hiring manager, you might be thinking at this point:

  • I have zero incentive to make a hiring decision out of a small pool of underqualified candidates.
  • My budget is already tight. I can’t afford to offer a lot more money to candidates.
  • Should we just wait until spring when graduates are in abundance, etc.?

Before you throw in the towel, you should know that it is far from impossible and may still be well worth the effort to hire over the holidays. VIMRO regularly meets the service level requirements of our clients while overcoming the challenges posed by reluctant candidates.

Creative IT Recruiting

How do we secure superstar new hires during the holiday season? Timing is everything and the package is critical.

At VIMRO, our full desk recruiters (FDR) play an essential role in holiday hiring. The full desk recruiter is the Account Manager on the client side and the Technical Recruiter on the candidate search side. The FDR has all the knowledge about the client, the role, the hiring manager, the team, the environment, the right personality fit needed, the location, the benefits and more. The FDR also knows everything about the candidates he or she has recruited and selected to be considered for the role.

On a basic level (beyond offering candidates a compensation plan they can’t refuse), here are a few ways to woo reluctant holiday hires:

  • Why not offer the candidate extra vacation time during the first year?
  • How about a sign-on bonus?
  • Can we secure a start date for after the first of the year?
  • And, if the position is temporary, get them excited about the possibility of a permanent position someday with all the perks that would come along with it.

That said, creativity is often key in attracting the right talent at the right time – and for the right price. In a holiday hire situation, the ability of a full desk recruiter to balance and manage the expectations for both the candidate and the client is invaluable. With a complete view of both the candidate and the client, a full desk recruiter can provide those creative solutions that might not be obvious otherwise.

Looking for a creative approach to hiring over the holidays—or in the new year? Learn more about what flexible, scalable staff augmentation and recruitment looks like 

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