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Planning for a Fruitful 2016: When is Best to Hire and When is Best to Apply

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There is less than two weeks to the end of the year. Companies are beginning to wind down their businesses and most employees take the opportunity to go on longer vacations during the festive period. It is always useful for both hirers and candidates to use this time to reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead. Based on our recruiting insights, we have broken down the year ahead with a proposal on when a candidate should best apply for job opportunities and when a hiring manager should plan their recruiting cycle.


December 2015 to January 2016

As most people are headed overseas during the end of the year, it is only natural that there will be less candidates applying for jobs. Logically, there will be less competition for candidates available in the market. Candidates embarking on a job search should utilise the month of December to network and send out their resumes as head hunters attempt to wrap up any vacant roles by the end of the year.

However, candidates should also remain realistic about securing a job by year end as many hiring managers will be on vacation during this period. Consequently, it becomes difficult for the Human Resources department to gather the managers required to interview the relevant candidates for the role.

As we move towards the festive period, it is best to stop circulating your resume to head hunters and hiring managers as most of them will be out during the festive period. When the hirers return in January, it is likely that your resume will be buried amongst other emails. Instead, candidates can use the festive period as an opportunity to network during Christmas gatherings and events. Candidates should also take the time to reflect and evaluate on their career progression so far. This includes gathering information which could be included to boost your resume such as your achievements in your previous jobs 

On the other hand, hiring managers should take stock of vacant roles towards the end of the year and conduct a review of their hiring activity for the year. A year end review should include a check on the efficiency and capability of the recruitment vendors engaged. If your company has never engaged any recruitment vendors previously, the Human Resources department could use the lull period to research good recruitment vendors suitable to the needs of your organisation. Different agencies specialise in different industries, and have divisions catered to different positions as well. Companies should use the opportunity to prepare their marketing materials to improve corporate reputation as well.


January 2016 to February 2016

The first two weeks into 2016 will remain quiet as employees start returning from their holidays. Candidates should also expect a slowdown in hiring mid February due to the Chinese New Year festivities.

Notwithstanding the festive season, companies will begin to rev up their hiring process with new budgets at the start of the calendar year. Vacancies may be created from new roles or replacements and hiring will pick up once hiring managers return from their vacations.

Whilst there are more vacancies at the start of the year, there will also be a surge of applicants in January as candidates include job changing as one of their New Year’s resolution. While this is good for hirers, this would also mean greater competition for jobs amongst candidates.


March 2016 to July 2016

As most employees typically receive their bonus payout in the first quarter, more resignations will be expected at the start of the second quarter. Hiring managers will be scurrying to replace employees who are resigning after collecting their bonuses.

The next few months will see the busiest season of recruitment as the hiring momentum picks up to fulfil replacement roles and businesses ramp up to meet the objectives set for the year. While candidate application is expected to remain consistent in the second quarter, hiring managers are encouraged to seek the expertise of recruitment agencies and head hunters to locate top talent who may not be active job seekers.

On the other hand, active candidates should take the opportunity to attend more networking events and connect with more head hunters to gain market insight. As hiring is at its peak, active candidates should keep their options open to explore various career opportunities.


August 2016 to November 2016

The third quarter is expected to be quieter with fewer interviews and hiring. Nonetheless, Human Resources may push for the hiring process to be concluded before the commencement of the festive season at the end of the year. Active candidates should keep a close track of their interview process.

For more information, speak to one of our consultants at Space Executive.