Since I spend most of my day talking to candidates and clients, the most common question I am asked is whether it is worth hiring or job seeking at the end of the year what with Christmas and Chinese New Year just around the corner.
Candidates are often concerned because:
1. I am waiting on my bonus
This is a common reason for job seekers to wait until the New Year to begin their job search. However, whilst I understand the fiscal reason of being patient, it is not a practical one given you need to start the search in order to find something in the first place. With notice periods traditionally anywhere from 1-3 months these days, the earlier you start looking the better so that you can manage the process from the outset. There is nothing worse than waiting until February to look when you can’t start until May – this will annoy any potential employer who is actively looking.
2. I don’t have the time
Unfortunately at any point in the year if you want to change roles, you need to make the time to look and the end of the year can be ideal. The chances are you have accomplished a lot in the year that you can add to the achievements section of your CV. Or as we tend to have some time off over the festive season, it’s a good time to brush up your resume and meet with recruiters.
3. There won’t be any jobs available
This is a definite myth. Hiring managers tend to start budgeting now regardless of when their financial year runs since it’s human nature to have new starters in the new year. Also they are more likely to have a bit more time to meet people in the market when the year winds down and are much more available for coffees/lunches which can work in a job seekers favour. Also as I mentioned earlier, a hiring manager would rather have identified someone in 2014 for a 2015 start and like candidates, are acutely aware of notice periods.
4. I am not in a rush
You might not be in a hurry now but you will be if you leave it too late to start the process. It can be better to look for a job whilst in a job so as not to appear desperate. However if you choose to leave your role in order to focus on finding the right role and you can afford to do so, then it is also good to have time to properly reflect on all opportunities so as to make the right decision. The same can be said of a hiring manager who leaves it too late to source for talent, which is why smart people on both sides of the fence need to be prepared.
So in answer to the question, the end of the year can be an excellent time to search for a job since as a candidate or client, it can make it easier for you to manage the process and as a result find the right person/role for 2015.