Spring Has Sprung: How Time Of Year Affects Recruitment

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by Traci K and BrightMove Applicant Tracking and Recruiting Software

The end of winter and the signs of spring bring about the busy season for many recruiters. Though every industry and organization is different (for instance, retail recruitment shoots up right before the holiday season), for countless companies, warmer weather means an increase in headcount. For instance, construction businesses that are affected by the weather or those relating to finance that prepare for the tax season may find recruitment spikes as spring nears. While many sources, such as job seeker advice sites, recommend that applicants continue job search efforts during the assumed holiday lull, recruiters may find a much larger (and better) candidate pool beginning in February or March. While unemployed applicants could be continually looking, more passive candidates might begin to search. What makes the candidate pool larger as spring closes in?

The holidays are over. The thought of starting something new before the holidays is daunting for many reasons. You need a stable income to pay for your purchases. New positions are always a risk at some level. The job of Santa has to get done and it doesn’t pay well, so jumping ship near the holidays is probably not top on the to-do list.

Tax refunds are back. For those getting tax refunds, by the end of February or March, most are filed and received. Paying off those holiday balances and releasing some of the chains of debt give a new sense of freedom for those looking to make a change.

It’s getting warmer outside. This may seem minor, but if a candidate doesn’t really need a different position and is just looking to see what options are out there, freezing cold winds, snow drifts and travel don’t provide an enticing setting for those job seekers.

Layoffs are still happening. Once year-end budgets come to close, the decision to make cuts comes for many companies. Reevaluating business plans and with budgets reviewed and analyzed for the year, it could be the time to cut the fat.

Benefits have been renewed. Every organization is different, but for many, the first few months of the year bring new deposits and renewed benefits. Vacation is calculated and once revenues are evaluated, profit-sharing deposits can be made. With a year until another deposit and vacation cash-out potential in-hand, even the most passive candidates may begin thinking about making a change.

Any of these could be argued by the thought that motivated candidates will be looking at all times. Those that stop searching so they don’t have to go out in the cold may not be candidates you would are interested in anyway. Regardless, however you slice it, the applicant pool still seems to rise with the temperature.

Whether the increase comes in the form of quality candidates…that is for hiring managers to decide. In my experience, the best candidates I’ve hired have come to me in the spring and fall. After playing in the sun, September has applicants getting back down to business. However, February/March still signifies the start of my busy season.

Traci K. is an HR professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in recruitment and immigration.  When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.


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