Is Christmas the Perfect Time for IT Job Hunters?
Many people believe that there is no point in searching for a new contract or permanent IT job until January.
You certainly can’t blame them for believing that when there are thousands of articles discussing how annual leave and the general decline in productivity always leaves an undeniable dent in the IT job market.
From my 10+ years in IT recruitment, I can safely say that these articles could not be further from the truth and I hope this article sheds some light on the myth around December recruitment and why IT professionals should start their job search now!
Everyone enjoys a little holiday spirit right?
Whether you’re chasing a hiring manager or IT recruiter like myself, take the time to wish them a Merry Christmas. I can’t resist returning a bit of Christmas spirit, so your cheerful chasing might just end in an interview or even a job offer!
In normal circumstances, I’d say that Christmas is a fantastic time to network! Yes, it might not be with your usual professional circle, but you never know who is attending Aunt Majorie’s Christmas Eve brunch, or who will be stopping by for New Year’s Eve drinks at your parents’ house! It might just happen to be a hiring manager or Head of HR at a company you’d love to work for!
I admit that this year will be different, however, you never know who knows who until it comes up in conversation!
On the face of it, you’d expect hiring budgets to be depleted by December, however, the reality is that all heads of department and project directors forecast their hiring plans 12 months in advance in order to get their desired yearly hiring budget approved. Proof of usage needs to be shown in order to ensure a similar hiring budget is secured for the next year and this is where job seekers can benefit!
Recruitment doesn’t always follow your initial plan (believe me!) – onboarding might take longer than expected and some candidates might end up not being the right cultural fit for a business. All of this can culminate in some of the budget being leftover for new IT hires at the end of the year!
Competition is Limited
Lots of people give themselves a break over the Christmas period; they’ve heard that Christmas isn’t a good time to apply so they take a couple of weeks off from job searching to relax.
If you follow the crowd and believe the December recruitment myth, your CV will be one of the hundreds waiting to be read by the start of January.
However, if you get ahead of the game and apply in December, you’ll either get lucky and the hiring manager will notice your CV when they’re using work to escape from the Christmas festivities, or your CV will be one of the first in that decision maker’s inbox on their first day back at work in the new year. Either way, you beat out the competition!
Businesses Don’t Stop Because it’s Christmas
There is a huge misunderstanding around how businesses operate at Christmas. Just because it’s a national holiday, businesses do not just come to an abrupt halt. After all, this is the 21st century – we’re living in the digital age of technology, and technology can break.
Imagine if a national retailer shut its doors over the Christmas period and their website went down. In normal circumstances, their IT department would deploy a solution and they’d be back up and running in no time. However, they’re closed, so no one notices and they come back after New Year’s Day to a broken website and thousands of annoyed customers who had to spend their money elsewhere.
Last year, we supported a number of clients who had technical difficulties during the Christmas holidays. We were able to deploy consultants within 48 hours to handle disaster mitigation and bug fixing. I won’t pretend that we don’t have reliable candidates in mind for when situations like these occur, but candidates who apply for these short-notice IT opportunities often get selected too.
So, is Christmas the perfect time to be looking for a new IT job? I’m not going to pretend it’s the best time of the year, but it’s pretty close!
If you have time available to apply for roles, you’ll be putting yourself ahead of the pack. Even better, if you have the ability to start work at short notice, there’s always the chance that your CV could be spotted for a short term contract that could become a long term opportunity or even a permanent position!
Merry Christmas and happy job hunting!
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