The Great Resignation, also known as the Big Quit, is the ongoing trend of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs since Spring 2021. The phrase was first coined over in The States. This side of the Atlantic, The Great British resignation has dominated much of Q4 this year and against all expectations, the UK jobs market is booming.
Whereas historically, job seekers tended to wait to the new year for their job search, the pandemic has changed things a lot. According to job board Reed, a third (33%) of those employed say they’ve stayed in their job longer than planned because of the pandemic and almost half (46%) say they’re sending off more applications than they were before the pandemic.
There is now an estimated 1 million vacancies in the UK. Many companies in all sectors of the economy are needing to recruit staff, which is just as well as there are a lot of potential candidates looking to change jobs. But when is the best time to recruit?
Surely organisations should wait until the New Year like always?
Henry Ford once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” and it acts as a reminder that sometimes we need to change what we are doing to get a better result. The answer is don’t wait!
Here’s five reasons to recruit now:
- Access a complete candidate talent pool
The Great British resignation opens the path to finding talented and skilled staff with plenty of candidates open to new opportunities or actively searching for their next employer. With fewer employers recruiting this side of Christmas, a strategically timed recruitment push means you have access to a full candidate talent pool. This side of Christmas there is less risk of losing the candidate that fits your organisation or having to make a more costly counter offer when a good candidate is in demand.
- There’s time
For both recruiter and candidate December usually means there is adequate time for both parties to interview. Less people are away on holiday this year (thanks to Omicron) and many candidates are left with ample annual leave to use up (thanks pandemic restrictions) for interviewing. As a recruiter, it is likely December is easing up workwise and your company is winding down for the festive period.
If you’re planning to recruit staff it would be logical to think that January is the time to start looking but recruitment has changed over the last 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, it seems a popular time. In a recent poll conducted by Palmer McCarthy, 73% of candidates said they would ‘absolutely attend’ an online job interview between Christmas and New Year. A further 11% said it would depend on the role, and only 16% said ‘no way’ to an online job interview between Christmas and New Year!
- Stay ahead of the competition
January is often when new targets are introduced, so it pays to be prepared for new initiatives and KPIs with the human resource that’s needed to help achieve them. As January is often considered to be a miserable month (thanks to the infamous Blue Monday), candidates are likely to be attracted by the thought of training before Christmas and starting the New Year with a new role.
- Your employee can be New Year ready
December is, traditionally, an altogether quieter month. This makes it a great opportunity for recruitment. You will perhaps have a little more available time in which to focus on the recruitment process, and less day-to-day pressure means it’s an ideal time to ease a new starter into the business, train and onboard them in readiness to hit the ground running in January.
- Avoid too many applicants
Yes, there is such a thing as too many applicants! Many people will return to work after a Christmas break and make a New Year’s resolution to find a new challenge, so there’s certainly going to be plenty of available candidates. However, those serious about a new role are the ones that don’t want to wait until 2022. By recruiting now, you can beat the inevitable increase in recruitment activity and in turn, industry competition, that occurs at the beginning of January as everyone returns to work.
So, if you know you need to recruit, do it now while it’s an employer’s market – take advantage of the end of year lull, the ideal candidate may be only a CV and interview away.
Despite the general perception that January is when everyone starts looking for new jobs, December can actually be far more rewarding and our poll results certainly demonstrate that with 89% of candidates open to online interviews between Christmas and New year.
The coronavirus crisis initially raised fears of mass unemployment but we are seeing a wave of hiring by employers that has spread to all industries. Stop thinking about the office Christmas party that may (or may not) be coming up, as this year, December is prime time for snapping up talented staff.