Hiring for the new year – Q4 vs Q1

5 mins

It’s approaching the end of the year. Thoughts have turned to planning for the year ahead an...

By Amy Halls

Senior Marketing & Talent Manager

It’s approaching the end of the year. Thoughts have turned to planning for the year ahead and in particular, growth plans.

You can see where you need to add extra headcount, but should you start this process in Q4 or do you wait till Q1 when you’re back in the office in January?

Typically, we hear from clients about how busy Q4 and the festive period is which means it can be a challenge to prioritise hiring. For many, it’s the busiest time of the year and very close to entertainment season, so setting aside time to be available to interview candidates they often say can be tricky.

However, if you want to be ahead of the curve, our advice is always to not wait until January to start having conversations with potential candidates. 

Black women with glasses sitting at a table with another woman

It’s never as simple as just starting the process and hiring a great candidate for your team.

You’ll need to consider things such as:

1. How long it will take to find and speak to candidates you want to interview.

Do you do this yourself or do you use a recruiter?

There are of course pros and cons to both; recruiters will be able to tap into their candidate networks quickly but as a hiring manager you may lose some time getting sign off to use and brief an agency.

2. Availability

You’ve found number of candidates you want to meet with but what does their availability look like? How does this match up with yours and your team’s?

3. The candidate’s thought process

We see lots of ‘New Year, New You’ posts flooding our LinkedIn feeds in January and it’s true that people use the new year to start afresh when it comes to their careers.

Chances are though, they are already thinking about a change in Q4 so why not use this period to get a jump on the candidates that everyone else will be after in January?

New year, fresh start written on January 1st in a diary

In essence, there’s a wealth of research out there which us that from start to finish, the interview process often takes around 3-5 weeks and notice periods can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months.

Therefore, if you’re to wait until January to start the process, you might not get a new starter onto your team until the end of Q1/early Q2.

We'd also add that Christmas is a great time for on-boarding new employees. There's a feel good factor to the office and it's a great opportunity for them to integrate with the teams, even getting them to come along to Christmas parties! (We always tell candidates not too get too carried away if this is going to be their first impression though!).

So, our advice would be to start hiring for the year ahead as soon as you can. Think to yourself, would you rather come into January with headcount filled or wait until the January scramble?

Do you need help with your hiring plans for 2020? Get in touch to find out how Sphere Digital Recruitment can help.
Sphere Digital Recruitment 2024
Site by Venn