December 20, 2012
Many job-seekers slow down their employment search during the holiday season, thinking that employers will be taking a break from hiring. Career experts, however, advise against this strategy and emphasize that the holidays can in fact be an ideal time to look for a job.
Marty Nemko, named "The Bay Area's Best Career Coach" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, explained in U.S. News & World Report that at the end of the year, employers are typically deciding on their budget for the next year and may need to finalize staffing before 2012 comes to an end. They may even have "use-it-or-lose-it" funds to contribute to additional staff. Anne Edmunds, spokeswoman at Manpower in Chicago, reinforced Nemko's reasoning in Chicago Sun-Times. She revealed that Manpower, a recruiting and workforce consulting company, experienced a significant rise in its permanent placement business. "We have quite a few more job orders than we typically do. So it's really a very good time to be looking or to be aggressive in your search."
According to U.S. News & World Report, employers are also generally not as busy during the holiday season and so will be more likely to not only respond to phone calls but to also be in a good mood. Additionally, as the Chicago Sun-Times stated, because human resources departments are not as busy, they have more time for interviews.
Marilyn Bird, district director at Robert Half International, a staffing firm, added that there are also a greater number of opportunities for temporary or seasonal work during this time of year. Temporary employees who do an excellent job could even get hired for a permanent position -- a transition that Bird claimed happens frequently. "[Companies] feel more confident about it because they've seen their work. They've had a chance to get to know them. That is the area that we are seeing growth the most in recent months."
As U.S. News & World Report advised, job-seekers should not limit their search to formal job applications. Networking opportunities are plentiful towards the end of the year -- at holiday parties, get-togethers with friends, and even holiday volunteer activities. Lee Wenninger, owner of Express Employment Professionals in Fishers, explained in WIBC that "...some of the folks that get involved in volunteer opportunities usually are decision-makers in the community or they're very involved in the community and that's one definite resource you'd like to use." As for holiday parties, simply mentioning one's job search to someone may result in an employment opportunity. Another guest at the party may know of an opportunity in one's desired industry or company. Individuals who successfully make a connection should inquire about an ideal time and way to follow up. As Wenninger asserted, because the economic downturn resulted in so much unemployment, people who can aid in one's job hunt are more willing to do so.
Compiled by Aneesha Jhingan
"Keep searching: Hiring revs up during the holidays," suntimes.com, December 19, 2012, Francine Knowles
"Searching for a Job Over the Holidays," wibc.com, December 17, 2012, Amber Stearns
"Why the Holidays Are the Best Time to Look for a Job" money.usnews.com, December 17, 2012, Marty Nemko