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Does the holiday hiring freeze still exist?
“Nobody’s hiring in December/January, I’ll wait til it picks up in February.”
“There’s no point applying for jobs over the Easter break.”
As we wrap up the year, many candidates mistakenly believe that the break is a dead zone for recruitment. They quit browsing job sites for recruitment online, stop searching tips on how to write a resume, and shelve their hunt until the New Year when companies are well and truly back on board.
While many businesses do close their doors for a short period of time over the Christmas and New Year break, this doesn’t mean they stop their hiring efforts entirely. The ‘hiring freeze’ is a myth, not a reality, and it’s entirely possible to land your dream job while the rest of the bulk of working world is seemingly away.
Here’s why you shouldn’t put your job search on hold during holiday periods and why, contrary to popular belief, this may be a great time to land your next role.
Why the holiday hiring freeze is a myth
Recruiters are always connected
Before smartphones and the internet, recruiters and hiring managers would have to shelve their search for the perfect hire because they couldn’t get access to resumes or contact candidates for an interview. Today, that’s simply not the case.
Thanks to the power of technology, recruiters are always connected. They work around the clock and always have their eye out for talent. Even if a recruiter is taking a break over the holidays, they’re still scouring LinkedIn regularly. If a recruiter comes across a desirable candidate on LinkedIn or other social media, they won’t wait. They’ll get in touch immediately because they know how hard it is to find someone who’s the right fit for the role.
The financial year ends in June, not December
A common myth out there is that businesses have a hiring freeze over the holidays because they’ve been told to limit their head count due to budget reasons. While this is certainly possible in countries where the fiscal year ends in December, this isn’t the case Down Under.
The Australian financial year ends on 30 June, which means any freezes on head counts or budget adjustments are typically made in the middle of the year, rather than at the end.
There’s less competition
Even if the hiring freeze is a myth, some candidates still believe that December is a bad time to look for jobs. Others may choose to put their job search on hold in order to spend the holidays with their loved ones. Regardless of the reason, the outcome is still the same: there are typically fewer candidates on the market over this period.
Less candidates means less competition for available job vacancies. If you’re still searching, you’ll have a better shot of standing out, particularly if a company is either eager or desperate to hire a candidate ASAP.
Not all companies shut down
For every company that shuts down entirely for the break, there are companies that keep their doors open. Many businesses choose to stay open for the break, and only close for public holidays such as Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. Additionally, Australia’s growing start-up culture means hires need to be made at any given time, holidays included – a distinct advantage of start-ups being nimbler than traditional companies.
Keep in mind that while Christmas and New Year is a common celebration in Australia, this isn’t the case for all cultures. Plenty of global companies don’t have the practice of shutting down over the Christmas break, whether for cultural or other reasons. If you’re hoping to land a position with a multinational company, you should keep your eyes peeled for opportunities over this period.
It’s easy to get to interviews
If you’re looking for a new job while still employed with another company, it’s tricky to dash out for interviews discreetly during work hours. However, over the holiday period, this isn’t a factor. Companies typically slow down over this period, which means it’s easier to take a long lunch to prepare answers to common interview questions, dart out to meet with a hiring manager, or adjust your working hours to get to an early morning or late evening interview.
Is a new job on the horizon for you in 2020? Take a look at our current roles or get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants.