Do you think that candidates do little or no job hunting before and during the Christmas holidays? True to the motto: “New year, new luck”, are you postponing all recruiting activities until next year?
Wrong: Especially in the free time around Christmas and New Year, candidates have a lot more time to take a closer look at the job market and think about their current job position. If everyone now assumes that the run-up to Christmas is not the right time to advertise job advertisements, you can expect less competition on the talent market. But there are far more reasons why now is the ideal time to advertise job advertisements and why you shouldn’t wait until next year.
Job opening before Christmas – get a head start for the holidays
The number of job vacancies in September 2023 in the EU fell further by 700,000 jobs to 2,3 million compared to the previous year. This downward trend could already be observed in the fourth quarter of last year. 4.7 % of jobs in the Netherlands were vacant in the second quarter of 2023, the highest value in the EU, followed by Belgium (4.6 %) and Austria (4.4 %).
The number of advertised positions tends to decrease in the last quarter of the year and experiences a real upswing between January and February. This is because budget and personnel planning is often postponed until the end of the year and recruiting activities are put into hibernation for the time being. But to date, job fairs are visited by candidates up to 45% more often than usual before Christmas and New Year. This confirms the increasing demand for jobs and increased activity in the job market before Christmas and New Year, which HR managers can definitely take advantage of.
Why is now the best time to advertise job advertisements?
1. The candidate journey
Almost a third of 18 to 24 year olds have already stated that they start the turn of the year with New Year’s resolutions. This suggests that the willingness to reorientate and the motivation for the application initiative is greater at the start of the new year than during the rest of the year.
Today there are countless ways and opportunities for applicants to introduce themselves to a company. But what everyone has in common when looking for a new job is that there are always several points of contact between a candidate and the respective company before the application is made. This could be, for example, a sponsored ad in search engines, an interesting company video on social media, followed by a visit to the careers page, which ultimately leads to an application.
However, there are often further steps in between, so that on average 5-7 virtual touchpoints are necessary before a candidate applies. For some very specific (passive) target groups and qualified specialists, you can even assume up to 12-15 touch points. If you also take into account the time required for the work steps before the first applications are received, you can come to the conclusion that it takes several weeks or even months until the first applications are received. The best case scenario is 63 days until a position is filled. The duration of the appointment can also be up to 7 months. Long vacancies are usually accompanied by serious consequences such as employee frustration, loss of quality or loss of production. The numbers speak for themselves: the planned vacancy time last year was around 62 days, but the actual vacancy time lasted longer than three months (93 days).
Planning security is the key word. Anyone who only places their job advertisements at short notice runs the risk of important positions remaining unfilled for longer than necessary. It is advisable to take action before the Christmas season and establish contact points with the company and the careers page, which will later become applications.
2. The talent market
In September 2023, the number of unemployed people in the European Union rises to around 13.03 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. In the eurozone, the number of unemployed people will rise to around 11.02 million in the same time frame.
This development shows the continuing high influx of potential applicants on the labor market. At the same time, more and more companies are planning to build up a talent pipeline in order to actively address the omnipresent shortage of skilled workers in Europe. And not without reason: According to the Ifo Institute, the shortage of skilled workers is not just a German phenomenon, but a Europe-wide one. However, Germany is particularly badly affected in a European comparison. This leads to increased competitive pressure, particularly in heavily affected sectors such as engineering or industries. If you don’t want to miss out on qualified applicants, you should start placing job advertisements before the Christmas and New Year period.
3. Work on your employer brand
In order to further overcome the shortage of qualified specialists, the correct positioning of your own employer brand among the desired target group is an important supporting measure. And this creates another great opportunity for the current season:
While people spend time with their friends and families in their free time, they also use it to reflect on the year. Potential applicants spend a lot of time on their smartphones. According to Statista, more than half of all job seekers (52%) say that they start their job search at home via smartphone – the perfect opportunity to increase the visibility of your company and get in the minds of your target group with appropriate and interesting messages anchor. And it is precisely this time window in which people spend more time on social media in their free time that is the ideal way to advertise your company and position yourself as an employer of choice.
Of course, the budget has a decisive influence on the decision when is the best time to place job advertisements. According to an online survey, 73.5% of respondents see the biggest challenge as finding suitable applicants for their open positions and using the budget efficiently. It makes sense to use the currently available resources strategically now to prevent cuts in the upcoming budget allocation for 2024. Of course, it is important to ensure that even “last minute” bookings are targeted and effective. Therefore, a coordinated media selection for the desired target group is even more important in order to keep wastage as low as possible.
Placing job advertisements – the time is ripe (or actually always necessary…)
In order to take advantage of candidates’ increased willingness to work at the beginning of the year, HR managers should start approaching candidates before the Christmas holidays. The time to actual hiring can not only take months, but can also have serious consequences for overall company performance. The following applies: the more attention is generated for your company and the associated job offers before the intensive application phase in the first quarter, the higher the chances of successfully generating applications and achieving short hiring times. Especially against the background of a longer pre-application phase, increased competition at the beginning of the year and the desire to use budget really efficiently, it is advisable to use the Christmas period to place job advertisements and work on the employer brand.
The right time is now!
Do you want to use the time until the end of the year and get candidates interested in your open job offers now? With our VONQ Suite, we offer you data-based and automated solutions with which you can strategically advertise your job vacancies on over > 5,000 media channels and job boards and use your budget efficiently. Make an appointment with our experts now.