Hiring? How to make yours an Indian summer.
Summer is a notoriously difficult time to get things done, as people’s summer holidays get in the way and those left in the office have to pick up the slack. Understandably, hiring falls down many people’s priority list as they look to take some much deserved time off and would be applicants head out of the office.
We drew comparisons between August and the first week of September to see just how much of an effect holidays have on finding the right person. Using Movemeon data from 21,000 users and their activity over 200 live roles we tried to take a look at just how summer interrupts hiring.
What we’ve seen
On Movemeon, the start of September saw a 27% increase on the weekly average number of sessions through August and a 33% growth in the number of users. Unsurprisingly, people getting back to the office resulted in a higher number of applications but to see them surge by 62% is quite remarkable. Additionally, we saw a 45% increase in the number of new users signing up week on week come the end of August, indicating that people embark on significant and active jobs hunt upon their return. This upwards trajectory has continued into mid-September, with sessions on Movemeon, our proxy for activity in the consulting jobs market, sitting at 175% of those seen at the same time in August.
With the number of advertised openings remaining fairly static over the examined period this meant that roles advertised at the start of September enjoyed a considerable advantage over those posted in August.
Crusoe’s smartphone in a bottle
Given that 61% of Movemeon traffic originates from computers, it is hardly surprising that we see such a depression in application numbers throughout August as people opt to leave their primary means of job hunting at home. We find mobile traffic favours our insight articles over jobs postings, as it is fairly rare to have an up to date and tailored copy of a CV saved on your mobile. This may explain a great deal of the disparity between growing traffic and applications.
Slow and steady wins the race
In some senses there is no way to avoid the summer lull when it comes to finding the right people. Holidays are an amazing but unavoidable truth of working life. What you can do is minimise disruption and play the long game through July and August before being ready for the inevitable surge.
Patience is obviously key during holiday season, this is not to say that hiring is futile then, but rather that things are going to move more slowly than they otherwise would. If your timeline allows, it may be worth rerunning August’s adverts in September. Then would-be applicants returning from holiday will be available, you avoid the January rush of hiring, and can take advantage of the sudden tilt in the jobs market in favour of employers. Indeed, a number of candidates I spoke to indicated that they had scoped out roles while on holiday but only elected to make applications in September; so advertising through the summer may carry a benefit not felt at the time.
Making up for lost time
As our data demonstrates, you really can see when summer is over and nothing is more inefficient (or frustrating) than slowly processing a candidate and seeing them reject your offer because they have already accepted elsewhere. Make sure you’re ready for the deluge by putting in place:
Simple processes. If you always receive too many applications to handle at this time of year, adjust where and for how long you advertise positions to reduce your volume. Equally, design a process such that you notify the applicant on your decision as soon as you’ve looked at their application. If you ask candidates what really annoys them (and turns them off holding out on a process) the answer is more often than not that their application didn’t receive a response either way.
The right technology helps you to notify applicants easily. Any decent applicant tracking system or jobs board will have 1 click functionality allowing you to auto update an applicant. Movemeon certainly does. And, if you’re really hot on your employer brand, you can tailor the message they receive in order to give each applicant a little bit of specific feedback (again, default function on movemeon). This goes a long way to keeping people engaged and firmly in your process.
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