Holiday Season Can Present Job Search Opportunities.
PHILADELPHIA -- The holiday season no longer ushers in the hiring doldrums that job seekers have seen in the past. Generally held wisdom once said that if you hadn't found a new position by late October you were out of luck until after the first of the year. Today the rules governing the modern workforce have shifted, and the holiday hiring freeze is melting as well.
This change is the result of a worldwide talent shortage, says MRINetwork President Michael Jalbert. "Employers know how hard it is to attract top professional and managerial talent," he said. "If good candidates show up during the holiday season, we're finding that management will take the time to see them. In the past, they might have told them to come back in January."
According to MRINetwork's internal U.S. hiring data, over the past ten years there has been, on average, only a ten percent drop-off in placements during November and December in finance - a sector without a direct seasonal connection.
"For top talent, December can be a great month to look for work. Most employed people are not looking to change jobs at this time of year, leaving the field more open to those who carry on with their job search," said Jalbert. "Although the pace of business slows during the holidays, this can be offset by the fact that people are in good spirits and socializing more frequently, which can be useful to the job seeker."
He points out some of the reasons for not abandoning the job search during this time of year:
* Often, departments within companies are under pressure to fill openings before year's end to secure remaining budget and headcount allocation.
* While the number of advertised positions tends to decrease during the holidays, those that do appear are often high priority jobs that employers need to fill quickly.
* There's less competition because many others have taken a break from their job search.
* Laying the groundwork now can help secure a job during prime time hiring months in the new year.
* During the holidays most people are involved in more social settings than usual, which can mean an opportunity to make new contacts and renew old ones.
Jalbert also offered some advice on maximizing job search effectiveness this holiday season:
* Take control - Set a timeline, determine an action plan, and stick to it.
* Build your network - Attend holiday meetings or parties sponsored by professional associations.
* Enhance your professional development - Use this time to get caught up on the journals in your field or take an online course.
* Call upon your support system - Find a mentor whom you can rely on and keep family and friends informed about and involved in your search.
Also encouraging for job seekers, said Jalbert, is that some industry sectors may be seeing an up-tick in December.
"Construction companies in Southern California, for example, are just starting to staff up to rebuild the $1.5 billion dollars in homes destroyed in this summer's fires," he said.
Hiring will also continue to be strong in fields like information technology and chemical and mechanical engineering throughout the U.S. as the dollar continues to drop, causing jobs from Europe and even Canada to filter into the United States. "That demand will be boosted by increased spending on alternative energies as a result of skyrocketing crude prices and rapidly developing economies in East Asia," Jalbert added.
So if you're ready to make a job change, don't take a holiday from your search just because it's December.
Management Recruiters International, Inc., branded as MRINetwork[TM], is one of the largest executive search and recruitment organizations in the world. A subsidiary of CDI Corp. (NYSE:CDI), a global provider of engineering & information technology outsourcing solutions and professional staffing, the MRINetwork has nearly 1,000 franchised offices in more than 35 countries. Visit MRINetwork at www.mrinetwork.com.