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Staying Ahead Of the Seasonal Recruitment Cycle

Published: Monday 30th December 2019

When it comes to landing your dream job, timing could be everything. This is because there are seasonal recruitment cycles in most industries. The need for new staff rises and falls at certain times of the year and if you know when these times are, you can be prepared and ready to strike at the most opportune moment. 

Job applicant having interview. Handshake while job interviewing, recruitment

New year, new job 

Perhaps the busiest time for recruitment is the early two months of the year. Things are much quieter in the middle of December as most hirers won’t be looking to start any new campaigns until the recruitment budgets are allocated in JanuaryJanuary also coincides with the time of year when people are less likely to be on annual leave, so HR departments are fully staffed and ready for the next recruitment drive.

It’s during spring that a lot of graduate recruitment tends to take place, while students are gearing up for their final exams, as most of these roles start in September. But during the summer, recruitment tends to slow as many students travel abroad and more hiring personnel are on annual leave. That’s not to say you shouldn’t continue your job search during these months. Employers are still hiring; the recruitment process might just take longer. Hiring picks up again in autumn before budgets run out and companies start gearing down for the Christmas holidays.  

Business people waiting for job interview, recruitment

Recruitment: Who’s hiring when? 

While the recruitment cycle is pretty generic, some sectors have their own busy periods with higher demand. A good example of this is September to November when the retail and hospitality sectors ramp up recruitment for seasonal work at Christmas. If there’s a big infrastructure project coming online, or a boom in a specific industry niche, then some sectors, such as construction, will quickly move to try to secure the available talent needed to meet demand. 

Of course, job hunters that are aware of recruitment trends in their own industry sectors can plan their job search around them in order to boost their chances of success. For instance, if you see that a company in your industry has won a new contract, then it’s likely that they’re hiring. Downturns in the industry are a good time to focus on networking, in order to make a job application for a position that’s available but just hasn’t been advertised yet. 

Business people talking during conference break; networking

First to know, first to apply 

Social media and job boards can help too. Let companies know that you’re on the look-out for possible opportunities and you might just get your foot in the door. It’s a good idea to set up email alerts or push notifications so, again, you’re first to know about the latest and greatest opportunities (this is something that can be easily set up using the Zoek app). So if you find yourself at a loose end over the Christmas break, take some time out to update your CV in case you need to make an urgent job application in January. Just be aware, you won’t be alone. While there are more openings in January, there’s likely to be more competition too.  

If you’ve made up your mind to get a new job, it’s never too late to start searching. The best place to begin your job search is on Zoek where you’ll find all the top UK jobs as they come online. 

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