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Is it a good idea for NFPs to recruit over the Christmas period?

2 December 2021 at 4:57 pm
Luke Michael
We ask two leading for-purpose sector recruiters what they think

Luke Michael | 2 December 2021 at 4:57 pm


Is it a good idea for NFPs to recruit over the Christmas period?
2 December 2021 at 4:57 pm

We ask two leading for-purpose sector recruiters what they think   

Organisations looking to fill positions early in 2022 should start the recruitment process now, rather than waiting till the new year, recruiters say.

As we enter December with Christmas soon on the horizon, it can be difficult to decide whether it’s worth trying to recruit people over the festive period.

At this time of year, recruiters note that many candidates are tired and focusing on the holidays, after a busy year filled with lockdowns and home schooling. 

This makes it tempting for organisations to just focus on getting ready for the new year. 

But according to NGO Recruitment director Richard Green, this may not necessarily be the best way to go.

“We always recommend to clients that they start the process before Christmas in an attempt to build as much momentum as possible,” Green told Pro Bono News.

“Then on the 24th [of December] we put the process on ice and pick it up again on 4 January with candidates to interview. It definitely saves time.”    

Gembridge director Michelle Varcoe agrees, though she notes it depends entirely on the position.

She told Pro Bono News if the organisation wants someone to start in January, they should get on with it now, noting it is currently “very much a candidate-short market”. 

“If there is a candidate available now and they’re right for your position, I would be moving. I wouldn’t be waiting around because the candidates that are available now won’t be available in January,” Varcoe said. 

“They’ll be gone or confirmed for positions that will be starting in January. So most positions we’re moving on this side of Christmas.” 

Varcoe also said appointing people before Christmas allows for their notice period to be over the Christmas/new year period – meaning organisations can get people on board and start inductions early in 2022. 

She said organisations needed to consider that when you factor in people’s notice periods, the recruitment process can take around 12 weeks.

And while she acknowledged many candidates were tired at this time of year, she said there were still good candidates available who’ve made up their mind that they’re leaving in January. 

“So why not capture the market this side of Christmas and capture those candidates who have thought about that next career move?” she said. 

“And then you get the candidates who are just going to be contemplating their next move over the Christmas break. So if we find great candidates, we will be moving forward to encourage our clients to interview them this side of Christmas.” 

Varcoe said some campaigns would be starting the week before Christmas, with advertising continuing over the Christmas period.

This means they’re ready to hit the ground running the first week of January to interview the candidates that have come through from those campaigns. 

But organisations holding off until January to recruit shouldn’t be too concerned.

Green said that January was not as quiet for recruitment as it used to be.    

“January used to be a quiet month but with the onset of handheld devices, candidates always have access to job boards and direct approaches from our agency even as they are spending time on the beach!” he said. 

“So it’s always a good time to recruit.” 

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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