Executive Search: Is December a Good Time to Start Recruiting?

5 minutes

With Christmas on the way, you might want to avoid any discussions about recruitment until the new year. However, there's a great deal of value in starting the executive search process before Christmas.

The year is approaching its end and with it comes time off for Christmas. Naturally, you might be getting ready to enjoy a well-deserved break, avoiding any discussions about recruitment until the new year. However, before you do, have you considered the value of executive search over the Christmas period?

Of course, the executive search process takes a fair while longer than recruitment at a junior level. So, it’s unlikely that you will have the time to decide on your new executive hire in the final days before the Christmas break. But, there’s still a great deal of value in starting the process before Christmas and here’s Why: 

Executive search takes time

Hiring for executive positions is different to what you might normally encounter when considering a more traditional recruitment process. For one, the executive search process is thorough, as the candidates in question are going to be fulfilling senior positions. 

Because of the influence senior executives can have within a company, one of the preferred methods of hiring them is with the use of an executive recruitment provider. The exact process will depend on the provider you partner with. But, generally you can expect them to start by mapping out your specific requirements. Once they acquire this information, they will conduct a search of their network to find suitable candidates. The provider will then carry out an assessment of the selected candidates to determine whether their personality and skills match the needs of your company. You will finally be presented with a shortlist of candidates, alongside a summary of the interviews. To make matters even easier for you, the provider will negotiate the salary of the chosen candidate and agree on a start date. 

Because the provider will take the time to ensure that each step is completed thoroughly, finding the right candidate for the position can be a lengthy process. In some cases, it can take up to three months or even longer, when you factor in the candidates' varying notice periods. But, by adopting this approach, you will be able to capitalise on the quality and experience of an executive provider, helping you to fill your vacant role with a highly qualified executive. Due to the potential time frame it can take to find the right candidate, making moves to start the process before Christmas will put you in a better position to make a hire towards the start of the year.

A growing talent pool is available 

With Christmas shortly followed by the new year, many see it as an opportunity for a fresh start. Whether that’s because their fixed-term contract has come to an end or they’re looking for a new challenge, there’s always a newly available pool of talent around the Christmas period.

This is the time of year that companies also tend to draw up budgets for the new year. Having been through a turbulent couple of years, companies might be forced to make cuts and downsize. Because of this, it’s likely that businesses will lay off an increasing number of their employees towards the end of this year. As a result, there’s the potential that a talented exec who’s perfectly suited to your business, becomes available before the new year.  

If you are fortunate enough to have had a good year and still have some budget left to spend before the end of the year, then now is a better time than ever to strengthen your company with a new exec hire. Therefore, to ensure you really make the most of the current exec talent pool, it’s important that you start the executive search process before Christmas. 

Takes the pressure off in the new year

With the new year comes the pressures of new responsibilities. Understandably, it's a time which people use to start afresh. The same can be said for a working context, where your colleagues will be determined to hit the ground running. As a result, you may find that you become burdened with a growing to do list. With new projects and tasks to be getting on with, the previously held idea of strengthening your company with a new exec could be lost. 

To ensure the chaotic nature of January doesn’t cause this to happen, you should put your executive search process in motion before Christmas. By following this advice, you will be able to take advantage of the available time you have in the lead up to the Christmas break, allowing you to focus predominantly on the executive search process. Then, when January comes, it’s just a case of picking up from where you left off, while also leaving time to work on those new projects. 

Get ahead of the competition

For every company that is always on the lookout for executive talent no matter the time of year, there will be plenty who slow down in the run up to Christmas. This is because January is perceived to be one of the best months for recruitment and it absolutely is. Employers are allocated new budgets and minds are refocused after the Christmas break. Therefore, many employers ease themselves towards the end of the year, in preparation of a big push in January. 

However, that doesn’t mean you should do the same. In fact, going against the grain and opening the executive search process before Christmas can work to your advantage. You might be wondering what difference it makes. There will be a large talent pool of readily available candidates in January. So, with that in mind, why not just wait until the new year, it's Christmas after all. Well, that’s because all of your competitors will be accessing the same executive talent pool around this time, leaving you in a battle for the top talent. On the other hand, you can skip this conflict and get ahead of the competition, by starting the process earlier than them. 

If you want to get ahead of the competition but need some help doing so, you are in the right place. As the leading executive sales recruitment provider, we can use our wealth of experience to match you with a candidate who is perfectly suited to your company.

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