Holiday Hiring Freeze: Fact or Fiction?

Whether you’re on the hunt for a career opportunity or are getting ready to recruit your next great hire, as the holiday season approaches, you’re probably wondering: what about the dreaded holiday hiring freeze? 

Affecting employers and candidates alike, the time between mid-December and New Years has been infamously dubbed the holiday hiring freeze – the time when companies stop hiring, and job seekers stop looking. But it begs the question: is the freeze fact or fiction? In short, for full-time permanent positions, there is a hiatus in recruitment and hiring activity during the holidays, but it’s not all bad news! Here is why.

Understanding the Recruitment Cycle 

Regardless of industry, annual recruitment cycles exist. Meaning recruitment efforts and hiring dynamics vary depending on the season. For accounting and finance roles, recruitment activities consistently peak and fade throughout the year.

  • Peak Hiring Seasons: February – June & October – November
  • Low Hiring Seasons: July – September & mid-December 10 –      mid-January 

Why Does the Hiring Lull Happen During the Holidays? 

  • Employers are overwhelmed with year-end work: The recruitment cycle is shaped by annual financial processes, accounting periods, and peak vacation times. If a company’s fiscal year-end lines up with the calendar year-end, employers will be busy with month-end duties, year-end reporting, preparing financial statements, the audit process, budgeting, and future forecasts. Consequently, during this critical accounting period, hiring strategies are often delayed until the New Year. 
  • Employee vacation time around the holidays: While hiring during the holidays is not unheard of, most employers don’t aspire to hire when key team members are on vacation, hours are irregular, or the office is closed. 
  • Candidate applications slow down: Companies want the best candidates to fill vacant positions. Knowing that the supply of qualified applicants slows down during the holidays prompts employers to wait to publish job postings until job seekers are more active and engaged.

What can employers do now to prepare for hiring in the New Year?

  • Set 2020 recruitment goals
  • Optimize your careers page
  • Share company culture on social
  • Create recruitment content 
    • Employee testimonials
    • Share projects
  • Revamp your recruitment strategy 
  • Write job descriptions and optimize for SEO 

What can candidates do now to prepare for hiring in the New Year?

  • Update resume
  • Increase skills: courses, certifications, etc.
  • Add new experiences: volunteer
  • Prepare elevator pitch 
  • Focus on networking 
  • Identify the top 10-20 organizations you’d like to work for
  • Connect with hiring managers on LinkedIn 

As the end of the year approaches, don’t let the holiday hiring lull slow you down. If you have a placement opportunity for a finance or accounting professional at your organization, let us know! Our specialized recruiters have existing relationships with Calgary’s top candidates. No matter the time of year, we create win-win opportunities for Calgary employers and employees. 

Give us a call to discuss your recruitment needs!

P: 403.264.2242 


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