Christmas is coming! Maybe you don’t want to hear this, but it’s true. If you’re anything like me you have a vague idea that the lights are up in town but you haven’t actually heard any Slade on the radio yet, so in your mind it’s still a distant future event. You haven’t given a moment’s thought to what presents to buy, where you will be on 25th December, or the babysitting complications that New Year’s Eve will bring.
But important as all this stuff is, it’s your business and I’m not going to talk to you about it any more. My message is about recruitment. Yes, boring old recruitment. And I bring urgent tidings! Namely – if you want to recruit an IT person in January, you need to think about it today!
Read on for my top 5 seasonal IT recruitment tips – and don’t give up half way through, as the last point is probably the most important one of them all.
- Start now! At the time of writing Christmas is just over 5 weeks away, or 24 working days. Let’s call it 20 to account for an element of slacking off as the holidays approach. Now 20 days is not a lot. A typical recruitment project for permanent staff takes at least this amount of time, not including notice periods and assuming full cooperation from the hiring manager and empty diaries all round. So if you are thinking about recruiting for your team in the new year, then today is most definitely the time to begin. Candidates are still looking for work, believe it or not. There will be an increase in activity in January, but don’t rely on that because there will be a lot more competition for the best candidates at that time, and most people are generally much busier. So take advantage of the December lull.
- Be realistic. You may well be too late to get someone in place by the beginning of January – unless they are not on notice or you get very lucky. Budget for late January / February instead, or consider engaging an IT contractor in the meantime if you are feeling any pain.
- Have a plan. Many a Christmas IT recruitment project has come unstuck because key people are on holiday or unwilling to commit the time to do interviews. It’s also very important to think about your onboarding process and training schedule for new recruits. Remember the saying: “Fail to prepare; prepare to experience frustrating delays in your recruitment process”.
- Stand out from the competition. How? Don’t just think about what you want to see on a cv but consider your company aims and values as well. People buy from people, and in a similar way candidates are attracted to companies with a personality. Talk to a good recruitment partner if you need any pointers. If you do find an applicant you want to take on, keep close to them until they actually start work with you. Remember – ’tis the season of counter offers. Maybe you could even invite them to your Christmas party.
- Finally – KEEP HOLD OF YOUR EXISTING TEAM!!!!!! The wheel of recruitment turns without mercy and other companies (and recruiters) have their beady eyes on your star employees. Losing staff is expensive, bad for morale, and all kinds of other negative things. Think about how you can keep them in place; show an interest in them, give them training, and find out what is motivating them. We can help with this part. Click here to find out how.
I hope this is useful information. Take it seriously; we’ve already made a few placements for January, and we’re not expecting many more starters in December. A lot of good candidates are already in the late stages of the IT recruitment process elsewhere, so if you need them in the new year, get cracking now!
And feel free to get in touch if you are available to babysit on 31st Dec.
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