|The Wisdom of a December Job Search
The Washington Post
Planning to launch
a job search in January Although there should be plenty of opportunities
available after the first of the year, recruiters say there can be
definite advantages to launching your search in December.
popular belief, recruiting doesnt slow dramatically during
December. Weve had many years when our clients made more hires
in December than any other time of the year, said Kathleen
national practice leader for The Starbridge Group, a Fairfax, Va.
Snyder, senior director of franchise operations for Management
Recruiters International (MRI), with several offices in the Washington
metropolitan area, said, December is often the biggest month for
our offices. And in this marketplace, with the shortage of candidates
in every field, hiring managers are hiring people when they can,
regardless of the month.
employers remain active, the candidate pool is typically thinner in
December. Candidates are often distracted by holiday activities,
said Paul Siker, a
for The Guild Corporation, an information technology (IT) recruiting
firm in McLean, Va. And if theyve got bonuses coming, many
people just stay where they are. Still others suspend their
searches because they think employers arent active in December,
the reasons, the result is the same: Less people job hunting and
competing for the available vacancies. And that, say recruiters, gives
job seekers who remain active a strategic advantage particularly
for positions employers want filled before years end.
companies have headcount they want to fill before the end of the
year, said Kurke. Siker said the same is true in the IT arena I
have clients with existing headcount that want to get their positions
filled before year end to avoid losing that component of their
budget, he said. These employers actually have a heightened
interest to recruit before the end of the year. That heightened
interest to hire, translates into somewhat greater flexibility on
the part of these employers, said Siker. Companies will look at
the overall caliber of the individual. If they cant find someone
with all the experience and skills they want, education and track
record become more heavily weighted components. In December, employers
are more likely to say, Just give me good people.
if youve got an end-of-the-year bonus coming? Is that a good
reason to postpone your search until January. Not necessarily.
There are some companies whose policies are, If its an end of
the year bonus, it will be paid as long as youre employed with us
until the end of the year, said Kurke. Some require people to be
employed at the company in January or February when the actual payout
is made. People should factor that timetable into their searches.
can also mention pending bonuses during negotiations with prospective
employers, added Siker. In this market, some companies will do
what they can to compensate people for a lost bonus. Even if they
dont, however, and if timing forces a choice between your bonus and
a new job, Siker said, Youve got to weigh both the tangibles and
intangibles of the new situation. The tangibles are the salary,
bonuses and benefits.
intangibles include the quality of life, your happiness, and the
opportunity to learn new skills that will enhance your future
marketability. If everything in the new situation feels right, you may
decide thats worth more than the bonus youre giving up.