November and December can seem like a big black hole when it comes to hiring.
There are dozens of reasons why companies don’t like to hire new employees during the holiday season:
You’re overwhelmed with end-of-year work and don’t have the energy.
Key team members are on vacation and aren’t available for interviews.
There’s no time for training, onboarding or even sending rejection emails.
…The list goes on.
But the holidays are actually a great time of year to hire—not just from a business perspective, but from a psychological perspective.
As the end of the year approaches, people’s mindsets shift in a way that can be incredibly helpful for recruiting. Here are some of the psychological mindsets that benefit you when hiring near the end of the year.
1. The “Pressure to Perform” Mindset
Do you have a “use it or lose it” budget for hiring that expires on December 31? The psychological pressure to use these funds can actually help you nail down a great candidate instead of delaying a decision.
This pressure can also help if your leadership team or hiring managers always drag their feet when it comes to hiring. Remind them that they have to choose their final candidate now… before it’s too late.
Even if your new employee doesn’t start full time until after the New Year, you can bring them in for one-off training sessions during November and December. They’ll be able to hit the ground running in January, and you won’t lose your budget.
2. The “Good News” Mindset
Job candidates who are currently unemployed or underemployed are especially eager to nail down employment before the end of the year.
They want to be able to share some great news—”I got a job!”—at holiday dinners and parties. The last thing they want is for friends and family to ask “What’s new?” and there’s nothing fun or exciting for them to talk about.
This desire for “good news” can lead to increased job-seeking activity as candidates up their game at the end of the year.
They’ll send more job applications, have stronger interviews, and demonstrate all-around more enthusiasm for the open positions at your company.
3. The “Life Reflection” Mindset
The end of the year naturally makes people sit back and take stock of their lives. We ask ourselves big questions like:
“Am I happy?”
“Do I like my job?”
“What do I want to do with my life?”
“Am I reaching my goals?”
We’re in a mindset of change and growth. So it’s no surprise that this leads to workers leaving their current jobs for greener pastures.
This life reflection mindset can be a double-edged sword for HR and hiring managers. On one hand, your team members might decide it’s time to quit, leaving you in the lurch. On the other hand, there’s a sudden influx of new job seekers on the market.
Take advantage of all of those wandering eyes by posting and promoting your job listings during the holiday season.
4. The “Holiday Party” Mindset
During the holidays, we tend to socialize more than usual.
We’re hanging out with our colleagues at company parties; sending cards to people we haven’t seen in awhile; catching up with friends for cocktails, potlucks or gift exchanges; and traveling to see family.
Take advantage of this super-social atmosphere! Recruit your staff to connect with potential job seekers in three easy steps:
First, let your team members know that you’re hiring. Send a company-wide email or make an announcement during an all-staff meeting. Tell them what you’re looking for, and ask them to keep an eye out for candidates during their holiday socializing.
Next, introduce an extra-special referral bonus for employees who refer a candidate who’s interviewed or hired before the end of the year.
Print and distribute business cards to your team that say “We’re hiring!” and include application information, including your email address. Your staff can hand these out to anyone they meet who might be interested in a new gig.
After all, what’s a better holiday gift than a new job for the new year?
You (and your team) will enjoy the holidays much more knowing that you’ve crossed a major item off your year-end to-do list.