As we reach the final months of the year, many job seekers face an important decision: should they continue their job search during a holiday-laden period, or, wait to start fresh in the New Year?
It is a valid concern, as job seekers are aware that their networks may become unavailable during the holidays, interviews will slow down as business days become scattered, and people ‘check out’ while they begin thinking about the next year.
But for those who press on, are they able to take advantage of the lack of competition?
Ivy Exec surveyed hundreds of hiring managers and human resources personnel across 16 industries to find out what really happens to the hiring process over the holidays.
Competition Among Applications
It is commonly understood that job listings can receive well over a hundred applications. And if the company is one of the hottest names in the industry (Google, Apple, etc), the number can easily double, triple, or increase ten fold.
But what happens when we enter the holiday stretch?
One out of three survey respondents reported that they see a drop in applications to their job openings. This can likely be a result of one of two things:
Job seekers take a break from applying to opportunities to enjoy the holidays/travel, and/or, job seekers believe that companies suspend hiring, or are not available to review applicants until next year.
Is there legitimacy to their concern? In short, yes.
Availability for Employers to Interview Applicants
Of those surveyed, 50% reported a dramatic decrease in the availability to interview candidates, while 32% said that the amount of interviews held remains constant.
And this is not necessarily due to a decrease in the demand to hire talent; over 30% of respondents expect to make more hires in the fourth quarter of the year than they had made in the third.
This begs the question: “Should you apply to a job during the holidays when there will be less applicants, but also less availability for companies to respond or bring you in to interview?”
We asked if it is wise for job seekers to suspend their search until the new year; 94% of respondents disagreed. One reported that: “..It is frustrating when the applicant pool is lower” – indicating that competition has dropped substantially.
Another respondent suggested that as overall activity winds down, they have more time to take a deep read through applicants’ resumes: “I have more time to read resumes during year end when other parts of the business slow down. And, I like having new hires in place immediately after the holidays.”
What You Should Expect
As earlier suggested, your application may have a chance to shine with the drop in applications, but you should not expect a response or request to come in for an interview too quickly. According to one respondent: “Candidates should plan for extended interview schedules during the holiday period.” And in terms of how you should follow up throughout the process: “A balance between staying on their radar and not bugging too much needs to be found. Many people are out on vacation during those times, which delays decisions.”
Numerous respondents agreed that applications that arrive over the holiday end up at the front of the list in the new year. You have the opportunity to beat the influx of resumes inevitably sent as part of new year’s resolutions to find a new job.
Serious about ramping up your job search? Click here to schedule a 15 minute consultation with our Manager of Resume and Coaching Services, Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill, to learn how Ivy Exec can help you. Please note – you may need to select a future week in the calendar.