The Recruitment Underground Blog

Career Skills, Training and Transitions

Job Search Frustrations During The Holidays?

Posted by jamesseetoo on December 4, 2009


Okay, I admit I took a little time off during Thanksgiving, which is why I didn’t post last week. But mostly because I didn’t think I’d be alone in that and that gave me the idea for this posting.

As we move into the holiday season, or I suppose we’ve already done that with Thanksgiving – the recruitment process for both the recruiter and candidate can become increasingly frustrating.  Let’s be honest, recruiters are people and they can become increasingly busy this time of year with the business of planning the holidays.  But let’s not put it all on the recruiters.  After all, we don’t have the final say on a hire and we are often thwarted by candidates’ holiday plans and even more so, hiring managers’ plans.

How often have you gotten the “no word yet” message from your recruiter even after you’ve gone through several interviews?

Believe me, it’s not that recruiters want to put you off.  We really, really do want to fill the open reqs on our plates because that’s how we’re judged by our companies and realistically, that’s how we keep score with each other.

So here are some things that most people don’t think about that hopefully will make this time a little less frustrating.

1) Once the holidays get started, people just aren’t around to make a decision.  The more consensus driven the decision the more difficult it is to gather opinions for the hiring decision. Anybody ever work in a matrix organization?

2) Fourth quarter forecasts.  Yes, companies need to hire people but realistically if budgets are tight and since we really are near the end of the year some companies will hold off on hiring until the beginning of the first quarter.  This will hold down base costs and make the year-end numbers look better.

But it’s not all bad news.  Because like any cycle, hiring generally picks up at the beginning of the first quarter and many companies that aren’t disciplined will front load their hires in the first few months of the year.

Although it’s normal to be impatient, you really have to view the situation in context.  If a hiring manager has gotten this far without filling the position, it’s pretty easy for her to put off hiring until her and her team’s schedule has cleared a bit.  So remember, make sure you’re staying on their radar screen, make sure your recruiter and your contacts know you remain interested and make sure you let them know what your holiday schedule is looking like in case they are able to move before the end of the year.

In other words, treat them as partners in your job search.  They’ll appreciate it and how you handle the stress of the holiday job search goes a long way to showing how you would handle stress during the rest of the year.

Remember, your skills are your job security.

Best,

James Seetoo

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