Following a short, post-Brexit dip during June and July, the jobs market has recovered and remains as buoyant as ever. Permanent placements are growing, data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) shows, with 23% of businesses planning to hire more staff over the next three months.


The festive period is a busy time for us all. In the office, we work hard to wrap-up projects ahead of the New Year, while evenings and weekends are spent getting into the festive spirit with friends and family. As a result, other priorities – such as finding a job or recruiting for a role – get pushed back. But waiting for 2017 to start your search may not be the most effective strategy.
If you’re looking to change jobs, or fill a job vacancy within your company, why wait? Act now and you’ll have access to the best opportunities and talent.

Why employers should hire now

A drop in the unemployment rate means the talent pool employers rely on is shrinking at a rapid pace, the REC notes, which is why keeping momentum with your hiring strategy during the festive season is vital. Here are some benefits of hiring now:

You snooze, you lose

The majority of employees looking for a job in the New Year would have begun their search already, albeit passively. They haven’t put their CVs out there just yet, but they’ll be monitoring the market, so now is the ideal time to make them aware of vacancies. Get ahead of other employers and you’ll have access to a larger pool of top talent. The early bird catches the…mince pie?

Get them settled

With team spirit high in the run-up to Christmas, December is the perfect month to welcome a new employee. They’re able to join in with secret Santa and Christmas Jumper Day, and get to know their new colleagues at the staff ‘do’. It helps to build bridges and relationships, allowing them to feel more at home when the New Year begins. Integrating them with new team members before the end of the year will allow them to make a quick impact and create more momentum.

Tick it off the list

January is a chaotic month; we find ourselves playing catch-up (mainly with our overflowing email inboxes), while simultaneously focusing on future projects. With a jam-packed schedule, do you really want to be bogged down by hiring processes and on-boarding programmes? If you hire and induct employees now, you’ll have a less stressful start to 2017. Plus, it means you’ll be able to get maximum businesses value from your new hires for the full business year.

Why employees should look now

You’re eager to change jobs, but you want to hold out for the end of year bonus. It’s always nice to have some extra cash in the back pocket, particularly during the festive season; but, by thinking short-term, you could miss out on a solid, long-term job opportunity. So, here’s why you should start looking now:

Jobs are out there

While the momentum on hiring slows a little during Q4 – which can in part be attributed to those a seasonal mind-set – that doesn’t mean you should postpone your search. Employers will always need to fill key hires, regardless of the time of year. As a matter of fact, some employers with a ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ budget will be desperately trying to fill vacancies before the year’s end. Even if you can secure a new job pre-Christmas, perhaps you can negotiate a later start in 2017 if your bonus is too tempting to turn down.

Don’t miss a golden opportunity

If you wait around, all those jobs you’ve got your eye on will inevitably get taken. But, start your search now, and you’ll have access to a greater range of opportunities, as you’ll get in first ahead of candidates delaying their job search until the New Year. Moving jobs now might mean you miss out on your bonus, but this will hopefully be counterbalanced by a higher salary, along with better career opportunities and personal development in your new role.

So…what next?

As an employer, the most important thing is not to get caught-up in the festivities and lose momentum with your hiring process. Keep things ticking along – meet with key decision-makers to devise a plan of action, establishing the roles that need filling and a process for hiring them. Work to a schedule and ensure that you work with your recruiter; this shows a commitment to hire, and your recruiter will prioritise their workload far better to find you the perfect candidate.

Employees, on the other hand, should utilise the Christmas break as a time to form connections with prospective employers. These connections may need to be re-kindled after the Christmas break, but at least you’ll be at the forefront of their mind when they start hiring.

Instead of pushing your priorities back to the start of 2017, make December the month you find your dream job or ideal candidate. Knowing you have everything sorted ahead of the New Year will allow you to have a relaxing break and a very merry Christmas indeed…

Darren Wells