In my 10 years of recruitment experience, December has always proven to be the toughest time of the year to recruit. Issues like companies figuring out the next year’s budget; candidates waiting for their annual bonuses; festivities and upcoming holidays all play a part in why it’s ultra-difficult to hire the right people.
Then why should we hire? And how?
Search Early for the Best Candidates
Contrary to popular belief, I often advise my clients to recruit their talents as early as possible, even in December. The best talents are ones that are passive, and year-end is when they are the most passive. By searching early, you’re beating the curve compared to your competitors who will also fight for the same candidates in Q1. If this strategy is executed effectively, you can find a suitable candidate in a less competitive market; then you and your team can really focus on the business at the beginning of the new year.
A remedy in Recent Years
Realistically, there’s no time worse to look for a replacement at year-end when all your staff is preoccupied with their tasks. In the past, the additional workload would have had to be shared between colleagues, increasing stress levels at critical peak times.
In recent years, the idea of temporary staffing became the remedy in these sticky situations. Although not as common as western economies, the popularity of on-demand workforce is increasing given the flexibility and effectiveness.
Higher than Normal Increment?
A common rebuttal from clients is that they need to pay higher increments to candidates during this time. This isn’t entirely true. Although the increment may be recorded as higher than the annual average, the original salary usually does not include the annual increment the candidates would’ve gotten if they remained in the same role.
What Else to Watch Out for
Bonuses or Commissions, guaranteed and non-guaranteed. This needs to be discussed as the earliest possible and re-discussed throughout the process. Situations change and these payouts could affect or deter the interests of the candidates. It is often easier to let the recruiter handle this discussion rather than the employer themselves, given the sensitivity.
So, you’ve successfully found a great candidate and both parties are very excited to ink the contract. Before you put the official offer together, there is one more thing you can consider. To solidify the offer and to show your sincerity to the candidate, you can sweeten the deal with a sign-on bonus. This can significantly reduce the likelihood of the candidate entertaining a counter-offer from their current company and increase the excitement of joining your company.