Monday, December 6, 2010

Holidays are a Perfect Time for Recruiting

The end of the year is an ideal time for candidates to explore new opportunities— How many times during the holidays do we hear our friends and family members say that they “seriously need a career boost” in the next year?

This is a great time to show candidates that your firm can offer them better opportunities, more growth, better benefits, or whatever appeals to them. Now is the time to fill next year’s critical needs before they become too critical and you end up losing out on new business due to lack of staffing.

Though the holidays are a great time to meet potential recruits, convincing somebody to make a move during this season is challenging. I suggest using the following strategies to attract new employees in the new year:

1. Talk to your contacts about their careers and their jobs. Offer your business card and an invitation for them to stop by “just to chat” anytime they are in the neighborhood. You will be surprised at how many will follow through and meet with you—better the candidates come to you than you go searching for them!

2. Offer a sign-on bonus. People stand to lose a lot—their end-of-the-year bonus—should they change jobs before January 1. The amount can range from $1,000 to over $50,000. On the lower end of this scale, this worry can be alleviated with a sign-on that is comparable to their end-of-the-year bonus.

3. Set a start date after January. Let the candidate collect his or her bonus for the work they did in the last year. This also allows the candidate to not upset his or her life too much with making a move near the holidays when they probably already have scheduled time off, and are used to how holiday periods work at their current firm. Get an offer out now, and have them sign it.

4. Expand your holiday party list. Invite candidates that you have been speaking with to your company party. This is a terrific way to get them to meet your firm, get a feel for the people and your culture, and create professional friendships that will help them make the decision to join your firm.

Set the groundwork now, and you’ll be able to have key new staff members ready to help your firm grow next year.

Want to learn more HR trends and tips? Register for PSMJ’s upcoming A/E/C Industry Human Resources Summit. The HR Summit is a senior level HR event specifically designed to address the increasing needs and demands of senior leaders of HR, as well as other key executives who deal with the critical employee and firm issues on a daily basis. Through panel discussions and best practices presentations, you learn through examining successful real-life case studies, receive A/E/C survey results, while networking and asking your peers for their proven solutions to problems just like yours.

For more information, click here to download the program brochure or contact our Education Department at or 617-965-0055.

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