Is the End of the Year an Ideal Time to Attract Talent?

Ashleigh McMillan

recruitment juggle people | OnTalent

The end of the year often marks a period of reflection, celebration, and planning. It’s a time when businesses evaluate their achievements, set goals for the upcoming year, and, for some assess their talent pool and team performance. Traditionally, some industries experience a slowdown in hiring during the holiday season. However, the rise of talent shortages and skill gaps within organisations has compelled managers to reassess their recruitment timelines. This brings us to ask an important question: Is the end of the year an ideal time to attract talent? To help answer this let’s dive into how these talent scarcities are reshaping traditional hiring cycles and why managers may need to secure top talent now to remain competitive.

Attracting Motivated Talent

One prevailing belief is that professionals are less likely to consider job changes towards the end of the year. The assumption is that instead, individuals are focused on wrapping up projects, meeting year-end targets, working towards summer holidays and are generally less open to exploring new opportunities. However from our experience many employees embark on a journey of reflection during the festive period. The New Year synchronises both personal and professional resolutions – they reflect on their job satisfaction, achievements and set their sights on growth, change and a brighter future. As a result, the end of the year can present unique advantages for recruitment, by finding talent who are ready to enter a period of career transition and with some looking to break into new career pathways provide unique transferable skillsets. By synchronising your recruitment efforts during this time, you tap into a pool of motivated candidates actively seeking new opportunities. It’s not just hiring; it’s connecting people and purpose.

Foresight into the future

As the year concludes, some businesses also find themselves sitting on unused budget allocations. With increasing talent shortages and skill gaps impacting operations, this may be the opportunity to turn dollars into talent gold. Allocating resources towards talent acquisition not only meets hiring goals but ensures that budgetary resources are not left on the table. However, attracting talent isn’t just about filling immediate gaps, it’s about proactive planning for the upcoming year. By strategically positioning hires during this period, organisations can hit the ground running in the new year, ready to face challenges and embrace emerging opportunities. This is especially relevant when outputs are undermined by inadequate skill sets which can lead to the inability to innovate amongst competitors and adversely increase turnover. There is no doubt this is a forward-thinking approach allowing organisations to prepare for the following year while boosting their capabilities. Organisations just need to consider if hiring new staff is sustainable in the long-term and is what’s needed to bring value and improve operations.

Our experience at OnTalent aligns with this observation. We’ve noticed an increasing number of professionals using this reflective period to actively seek new opportunities and explore career transitions. It’s a testament to the fact that, despite the traditional belief, the year-end can be a strategic moment for organisations to attract and engage with motivated and forward-thinking talent.”  Ashleigh McMillan

Culture elevation

For many ending the year on a high note by welcoming new staff contributes to a positive company culture and can strengthen the perception of the business. It is a statement that the organisation is dynamic, forward-thinking, and committed to growth for the upcoming year. This is also an opportunity to highlight the businesses’ accomplishments and future goals to attract high quality candidates through a quieter hiring period. Communicating successes, upcoming projects and more importantly demonstrating the benefits of working at an organisation for new hires can make the business stand out and even more enticing. However, it’s also an invitation for diverse perspectives and innovative ideas to invigorate the company’s landscape for the new year. This infusion of new energy and perspectives encourages existing employees to embrace change and remain agile, contributing to a vibrant and adaptive work environment. For many organisations, this change can resonate not only with new hires but also with existing employees, creating a sense of excitement and momentum as the company steps into the new year. As a result, hiring at this time can be good way to reinforces employees’ confidence in the company’s vision and direction, instilling a sense of optimism for what lies ahead.

As the year draws to a close and we get into the holiday spirit, the traditional slowdown in hiring confronts a changing landscape. The scarcity of talent and skill gaps within organisations have reshaped this period as a time to attract motivated talent as a strategic move that fortifies their capabilities and preparedness for the challenges and prospects ahead. This time also offers a window into the motivations and aspirations of potential candidates as they consider new career paths and personal growth.

In my role as a Client Partner at OnTalent, I continually witness the positive impact of strategic talent acquisition, particularly towards the end of the year. It’s not just about filling roles; it’s about aligning organisational goals with the aspirations of top-tier talent. This intersection creates a pathway for growth, resilience, and high performance. As we navigate the evolving talent landscape, recognising the unique advantages of attracting motivated talent during this period is key to staying competitive and future ready.”

Ashleigh McMillan brings over 13 years’ experience in recruitment and business management with a specialised focus on the Corporate Services space across both private and public sectors. Intuitive, thorough, and passionate by nature, she brings comprehensive knowledge of business operations, recognising that having the right people in the right roles is vital for an organisation’s success.

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