The Misunderstanding of Holiday Hiring
Most job seekers have the misunderstanding that hiring stops at Thanksgiving and that "no one gets hired until after New Years." Why do job seekers believe this misconception? I've heard countless times companies are less likely to hire new employees because of "the holiday's." When I hear this, I wonder, do you think that employers are so busy with office holiday parties, gift exchanges, or dancing on conference tables to hire good talent? The answer is, of course not. The reality is that hiring around the holidays has nothing to do with the holidays themselves.
Hiring around the holidays has everything to do with 3rd quarter results, which ironically just happen to be finalized within the first two weeks of November for most companies. When 3rd quarter numbers are looking as dismal as grandma's holiday fruit cake , that's when company finance departments try to defer expenses until next year in order to boost current year profits as much as possible. By using the tactic of a hiring freeze, companies effectively limit the amount that annual profits miss expectations/forecasts/budgets etc. On the other side of the economic fence, in profitable years, when companies are ahead of their goals, hiring doesn't freeze – the exact opposite occurs.
In strong years, hiring efforts accelerate during the holidays, because hiring managers are under pressure to hire before year's end. Here's why:
If a hiring manager has been given the green light to hire on a new sales member this year and has not found the right candidate yet, that hiring manager realizes they only have until December 31st to hire. Once New Year's hits, that hiring manger has to re-justify the position and have that headcount re-approved by the Finance department. Going through the re-approval process isn't just a pain in the neck for hiring managers … but they have a risk that an unfilled position might take away another position the hiring manager wants to be approved.
So here's the real deal – there are just as many companies hiring at this time as there are companies putting on the brakes. In November, Boston was recognized as the second best metropolitan area in the nation for open positions across all verticals (especially technology where we are seeing a huge surge). This should be extremely refreshing to hear for current college graduates and people looking to switch their careers for a fresh start in 2012. So in closing, don't let the "Holiday Excuse" hold you back or discourage you from looking for better and brighter opportunities.