The Good and Bad About Hiring at the End of the Year

The Growing your Team Podcast: Episode 154


We’re in the final stretch of the year. If you’ve been thinking about hiring, you might be wondering if hiring at the end of the year is a good idea.

This time of year, the hiring market is normally different than any other time of year. And there’s good reason for the changes.

Find out the reality of the end-of-the-year hiring market and how you can succeed when hiring this time of year. 

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Episode Transcription:

This podcast episode transcription might be edited for clarity and conciseness.

Hello, Jamie Van Cuyk here, and welcome back to the Growing Your Team podcast. Today we’re going to talk about end-of-year hiring and the reality of it.

Now, many business owners that I talk with and work with want to kickstart hiring around the end of the year because, for them, schedules tend to be a little lighter. A lot of their clients are traveling for holidays and focusing on family. They might have hit their yearend goals or other things that are going on that make December a really light workload month.

When this happens, people think that they will use the time to hire and possibly start to onboard a team member before the new year, before business starts picking up again. While this is a great idea, it doesn’t always match reality.

As I go to record this episode, it is the Monday after Thanksgiving, so we are in this time that is limbo in the hiring world. And what do I mean by that? It could be great, and it could also really suck. So, let’s talk about why this is and what you can do about it as a small business owner that wants to use this time wisely.


00:03:14 – Why is this time of year different: The candidates don’t want to switch jobs

First, why does hiring not always go as planned in the time between Thanksgiving and the start of the New Year? There are two main reasons.

The first is a lot of people don’t want to be switching jobs right now. They might have vacations already planned, and they don’t want to have to worry about asking a new boss for time off. They are trying to use up the last of their benefits. They are focused on trying to be a good employee and get those end-of-year projects out and meet their goals. For some employees, they get end-of-year bonuses, and after working hard for an employer all year, they don’t want to make a change before they get that payout

There’s a lot of stuff that is going on that makes it so this is not a good time for them to switch to something new. They want to get through the new year before they make a switch. On the candidate side, there’s a lot that’s telling them Don’t look for that new job Until the new year.

Now for some people, they’ll still look. They’ll start applying for jobs because they recognize that it takes time to get that new job. It takes time to turn in notice, it takes time to get to that start date, and some of those people will still look. But some people know that if they start interviewing now, and we are at November 28th, there’s a chance that that new employer would want them to start before the new year, and that could throw things off. So, instead, they are going to wait.


00:05:12 – Why is this time of year different: A lack of time

And that brings us to the other reason why candidates aren’t very active on job boards this time of year. And that has to do with the fact that they lack time.

This time of year is busy. I don’t care who you are, there is always so much on the calendar, and so much that is taking people’s energy outside of the events that are on the calendar.

A lot of candidates also don’t have time to take time off to go to interviews. They don’t have time to go search a job board for jobs because by the time they get out of everything that they have going on at work, they might have shopping or events or celebrations that they’re going to outside of business hours. And then it’s also getting dark early, which is a drain on a lot of people’s energy. 5 pm feels like it’s 10 pm, and people are exhausted.

People just don’t have the time to go out or want to dedicate the time to go out looking for a job right now. And so, job boards tend to be quieter this time of year. A lot of the time, I’m telling my clients that we are in this slump before the new year, so be patient. It’s not that you won’t be able to fill your position; you just might have to wait.


00:06:46 – But what if you want to hire at the end of the year?

So, what can you do as a business that wants to hire right now? There are a few things.

First, this is the perfect time of year to make sure you have everything in order for that new hire. We’ve talked a lot on the podcasts about creating processes and preparing for onboarding and things like that. Make sure you’re taking the time while you have it. If you’re slow this time of year to prepare internally for your new hire to make it so that when they join your team, they can get up to speed quickly and be successful in their role.

Two, prepare for the hiring process. Make sure that you’re putting out a job posting that speaks to your ideal candidate and that you have a full interview process prepared with effective interview questions so when you do get candidates, you are ready for them.

Three, post your job anyway. This time of year is slow when it comes to hiring, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make good hires this time of year. While there might be fewer candidates out there, guess what? You only need to find one candidate that you want to hire, and if that person is looking for a job now, why wait because you might miss them if you wait to post your job.

And then finally, four, be patient if you post a job and you’re not getting any applicants, or you’re getting really light applicants. You might have to repost the job after the New Year when you’re going to get access to a different candidate pool. But for the time being, be patient.

Do not rush into making a bad hiring decision just because it’s who’s available now. Make the right hiring decision.


00:09:10 – The cost of rushing when hiring at the end of the year

I had a client last year, and we told them this. We told them that this was a bad time of year because we were getting close to the Christmas holidays when a lot of people were traveling. A lot of people have time off. Even those who don’t celebrate the Christmas season are celebrating other holidays or have kids out of school, so they’re still taking that time off. We suggested waiting until after the new year to post the job, but they didn’t want to wait. Like I said earlier, there’s no harm in posting it.

Then when they saw the applicant pool that was coming in, they decided not to be patient. Even though we said this is who we’re getting so far and we think we can get you better candidates after the new year, they jumped into making a hiring decision that we didn’t necessarily fully support.

And what happened a few months later? They said that that hire was not working out.

So, you can rush into making a decision, or you can wait to make the right decision. Something to remember is it can cost up to 30% of that new hire’s annual salary when they are a bad hire, and you have to let them go and rehire for the position.

A bad hire also takes a lot of your time. It’s also said that a business can be set back 16 weeks every time there’s a bad hire.

Bad hires impact your business, and you need to make sure you’re being patient and making the right hiring decision instead of rushing to make a hiring decision just because it’s the best of what you’ve got. If the best of what you got is not right for you, wait, hold off and wait until the beginning of the year to repost the position and get a new pool of applicants.


00:11:46 – Use your time wisely

Once again, just to recap, it is now between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and the hiring pool can be in flux. It could be great. There could be a lot of your ideal candidates out there looking for a job right now. Or, it could be pretty terrible, and you’re not going to get candidates, or you’re not going to get the candidates that you want to hire.

Don’t let that discourage you.

If it’s a poor hiring market for you right now, know that things will change soon, but it’s always worth a try.

And don’t forget to use this time wisely. Make sure things are prepared for your new hire to join your team. Make sure you have a hiring process that is going to attract your ideal candidate and that you have an interview process set up so you can identify that they are the right fit for you.

If you would like help with your hiring process between now and the new year, let’s talk. We can make sure you’re set up so that way, if you want to go and take a chance on hiring now and see if your ideal candidate is out there, you’re prepared. And if you want to wait until the new year, we can make sure you have everything set up to go so as soon as that New Year comes, you can post that job and have hiring success.

Schedule a call today so we can discuss your hiring needs and how Growing Your Team can support you and provide you with a bespoke hiring strategy so you can find your ideal candidate and hire like a pro every time.

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The Good and Bad About Hiring at the End of the Year, Growing Your Team Podcast, Jamie Van Cuyk, Small Business