Consider Recruitment Cycles when Looking for a Job

When looking for a job, timing isn’t everything but it’s definitely something to consider.

Being in the right place at the right time sometimes can get you a job but how do you know if you’re timing your job search just right?  There are many aspects to job hunting to consider.  What is turnover rate of an industry?  Are there seasonal needs?  How is the economy affecting the hiring that an industry?  It’s often tough to figure it all out and get a job.

One aspect of the job hunt to consider is the recruitment cycle. Like most business functions, recruiting and hiring activity has ebbs and flows, and if you pay attention, you just might be able to time your application to when a hiring manager is most eager to bring in new talent.

Here’s a look at how recruitment cycles may factor into your job search:

General recruitment trends throughout the year

When I’m coaching someone on getting a job, I tell them to think like a recruiter, namely, figuring out when demand for new hires is the greatest. It’s easiest to think of hiring in seasons:

Winter: The first quarter of the new year is always a busy time for management recruitment because of new budgets starting.  The end of the year could be tough as they have spent all of the recruitment budget for advertising, job fairs. etc.  Staffers are generally taking less time off this time of year since they’re just coming out of the holiday season, which helps speed up the hiring process in quarter one, as well.

For job seekers at the executive level, the first half of the year is prime time for recruiting and hiring. While executive hiring can happen at any time, senior job searches do have seasons where things tend to be most active—January through mid-June is the biggest uninterrupted time for search.

Spring: Companies start their recruitment process with the goal of having everyone in place by June 1st – before summer hits.

Summer: Once summer hits, you can expect a recruiting slowdown, as people start taking vacations and offices shift to more relaxed summer hours and flextime schedules.

That’s not to say that you should never look for work in the summer; just expect that it will be a slower-moving process. Job searches that start just before or during the summer can tend to drag, as vacation schedules can get in the way of moving the processes forward, especially for higher-level roles that require interviews with several people in the organization.

Fall: Once the fall comes and staffs return to full force, recruitment/hiring picks up again to fill any vacant roles before the holidays roll around (and to use up budgets before they run out – budgets are often use or lose).

Exceptions to the rules

It’s important to recognize that some companies and industries have unique management recruitment cycles.

For example, January through April is peak season for tax and accounting professionals, so there may not be a lot of vacancies for those seeking such positions in the first quarter. The rest of the year is when firms will concentrate on recruiting, since they always want their people to start before the busy season.

Paying attention to economic trends in your field can also help you predict when recruiters and hiring managers will be on the hunt. Some positions are often dependent on the specific needs of a company in a current economic market—for example, during a construction or real estate boom.

How to work the recruitment cycles

To get a better sense of when hiring in your field is up, try these strategies:

Think ahead. The budgets for some hires, especially for newly created roles, are often lumped into the next fiscal year budget. Consequently employers often start searches ahead of the fiscal year to have someone in place when the funds become available for the new hire. That means looking over the fall for roles that may not begin until January, depending on the company’s fiscal year. So if you want to start a new job in January, don’t wait until winter to send out resumes—start looking at job ads during the fall.

Network during downtime.  Networking during slower periods can yield great results. That’s because during the calmer summer months and the holiday season, people may have more free time to connect and be a little more relaxed when they do. This is also a great time to schedule informational interviews.

Tap into social media for intel. Look through companies’ social media pages to try to get a sense of the their hiring practices and timelines. You might be able to pick up on a particular pattern. Or, you can even potentially reach out directly to someone who works at the company to inquire about hiring cycles.

Finally, if there’s a particular company you’re interested in, stay up to date on news announcements that might indicate a hiring boom is on the way—expansion, new product lines, an influx of capital funding, etc.

In times of talent shortage, things may move quickly. If a job is open and companies are looking to hire soon, there is no slow period. With the current 4% unemployment rate, companies have to react quick and some companies will get their ducks in a row and do a one-interview process and get an offer out that day.

No matter when you look for work, the best approach is to hope for a sprint, but plan for a marathon. And like preparing for a marathon you need to train daily by networking, researching, and actively looking for opportunities.”

Get in the cycle

Keep in mind that recruiters and hiring managers are affected by many variables, including market conditions, industry, having to fill roles unexpectedly, and more, so positions can open up at any time.

 

Learn more:

Recruitment Specialists can help you solve the cycle issue.

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What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

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    In working with Patrice & Associates, in particular with Sarah Straniero, I was extremely happy with how quickly Sarah was able to place me with my current employer. Sarah is a true professional and I would recommend using Patrice & Associates if you're looking for a career change.   Best in health, Mark Mueller Recruiters Find You Great Careers
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    I was contacted by Joe about the job opportunity and at first I was against it. I was searching for something that was outside of my comfort zone and outside of the food industry. While talking with Joe he was so enthusiastic about the company that I said sure let’s give it a try. Joe was with me every single step of the way. From initial contact to me actually being hired he was there. He called/ texted me the day of my interview and encouraged me along the way. I was surprised and happy for his involvement to help me. I could always count on him for great advise and tips during the process. He shared my excitement each time I was contacted by the new company and followed my journey. He was always professional and was easily contacted when I had butterflies about me making the changes. I recommend Joe to any job seekers out there. He went above and beyond! Marqell Campbell General Manager SPJ Recruitment coaches help you think outside of your comfort zone.
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    All I can say about Mike is he has always been supportive and a great mentor to me over the past 8 years.  First as my Director of Operations with Mimi’s Café he always challenged me to be a better manager and encouraged my growth by having me take on leading weekly kitchen manager calls for his market and trusting me to go into troubled locations and helping to turn them around.  Most recently when my time with Mimi’s was over Mike was able to help me secure the next step in my journey in less than 3 weeks.

    Sincerely,

    Bob Nawa

    Recruitment Coaches are Your Coach for Life!
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    Emily was amazing from start to finish. From reaching out in the beginning and making clear my options to scheduling the interviews and making sure that I was equipped with all the information and confidence I needed to impress the interviewer. She was in constant contact and was true to her word when she said she was here for me throughout the process. Thank you all for your help. Brian Smith Job Coaches Help Reach YOUR Target!
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    I was extremely impressed with Sharon's attention to detail and to make me feel comfortable.  She was in my corner the whole time.  I think it is really great that she actually eats at the restaurants that I will be managing so that is encouraging because that means they have a great working relationship!  I felt that she knew exactly how to prepare me for the interview and the resume that was created was very impressive! Michael Talerico

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