As the year draws to a close, many candidates mistakenly believe that the holiday season is a dead zone for recruitment. They quit browsing job listings, stop searching for tips on how to write a resume and shelve their hunt until January or February when companies are well and truly back in business.

While it’s true that many businesses close their doors for a period over the Christmas and New Year break, this doesn’t mean they stop their hiring efforts entirely.

In fact, this time of year, when many other candidates are offline, can be the perfect opportunity to land your dream job. Here’s why.

The war for talent is fiercer than ever

As Australia emerges from economic hibernation, labour shortages exist across a wide range of industries. ABS data reveals that a significant percentage of businesses across sectors such as administration, construction, manufacturing, retail and hospital are reporting job vacancies, signalling increased demand for talent.

With more organisations competing struggling to fill skills gaps ahead of the new year, hiring efforts are set to continue throughout the holiday period. Simply put, businesses can’t afford to pause recruitment over Christmas and the New Year if they want to be well-positioned for growth in 2022.

Online recruitment can happen at any time

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 online, 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

It’s a common misconception that businesses have a hiring freeze over the holidays because they’ve been told to limit their headcount due to budget reasons. While this is certainly possible in countries where the fiscal year ends in December, this isn’t the case in Australia.

The Australian financial year ends on 30 June, which means any freezes on headcounts or budget adjustments are typically made in the middle of the year, rather than at the end.

There’s less competition

Many candidates choose to put their job search on hold to spend the holidays with their loved ones, or simply because they think it’s a bad time to look for jobs. Regardless of the reason, the outcome is still the same: there are typically fewer candidates on the market over this period.

Fewer candidates mean 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, some companies 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, keep your eyes peeled for opportunities over this period.

Looking for a great job opportunity in 2022? Browse our latest jobs or get in touch with a Michael Page consultant to discuss roles in your field.

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