As with everything, recruiting cycles have peaks and valleys, according to this article appearing in Monster and this article written by Career Sidekick Founder and Recruiter Biron Clark. According to these articles, there is a consensus amongst career advisors and recruiters that winter is the best time of year to job hunt because hiring for long-term, full-time roles gets into full swing in January and continues well into February.
Things May Seem Slow at First
Re-entry after the December holidays can be tough, and many don’t come back ready to hit the ground running. Instead, it’s likely that many will need a few weeks to readjust and get back into the swing of things.
By Week 2 of January, the end-of-year fog is gone and the hiring uptick, including phone screens and first-round interviews, begin in earnest.
3 Reasons Why Winter is the Best time of year to Job Hunt
#1 Bonuses Have Been Doled Out
It is common for companies to hold off on distributing annual bonuses until December. Recruiters and HR departments are fully aware of this and recognize that many job seekers view them as “golden handcuffs,” in that they won’t even contemplate leaving until the funds clear.
Companies expect this, and often hold off on new hire recruiting until January so that they can cast as large a net as possible to include those that held off until funds were safely deposited in the bank.
#2 Group Decision Making is Easier
When it comes to hiring decisions, decision making around phone screens, video interviews, panel discussions and one-on-one interviews usually requires the input of more than one person.
Gaining this consensus is touch in December because so many people take time off or are focused on what they need to complete to wrap things up before the end of the year.
Come January, however, everyone is back, making winter the best time to job hunt and the ideal time to get a “Yes” from the greatest number of decision-makers.
#3 Companies are Ready with Plans – and Have the Money to Execute
January and February are often the months when companies get their new year or at least their first quarter budgets and forecasts. While most have had their 2019 goals planned since before January 1, it is not until now that the funds became available.
Also read: Creative Ways to Find Job Opportunities
In other words, while leadership probably had a handle on what they needed from a hiring perspective to support their plans, now they know what they can afford. Any hiring activity previously delayed toward the end of the previous year (November and December) is now poised to move forward.
They are ready to interview and hire!
What You Can Do
While it’s OK to search company job boards and reach out to hiring managers and your network during the early part of the month, I recommend holding off until mid-January to send your resume
Don’t be surprised if you need to follow-up a few times after an interview. It’s a busy time of the year for hiring managers who have a lot going on in addition to filling these roles. If you haven’t received any feedback and it’s been a week after your interview, it’s OK to check in.
Work Timing to Your Advantage
The case for why winter is the best time of year to job hunt (with a mid-January kickoff) speaks for itself. While timing isn’t always everything, it can’t hurt, when it comes to a successful job search!