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How to avoid losing your candidate over the Christmas break

Don’t let the pending silly season encourage silly decisions! Even at Christmas, time delays can kill great hiring opportunities!

While those in the business of recruitment and HR are working madly to close things off, it is worth taking a minute to consider your candidate’s position in this.

Typically, they have come to the realisation that they need a new challenge. Whether they are currently working or not, they are actively on the market, seeking their next opportunity. They are excited about the role you have presented to them. Each interaction has been positive and each time their motivation has grown stronger as they recognise that this is the role they are looking for. They are excited to go into the Christmas break knowing a new horizon awaits them upon their return.

Drifting into January
This opportunity has come about because the hiring organisation has, at some historic point, identified a need that encapsulates the candidate’s skills, knowledge and experience, along with cultural fit.

The recruitment dance commenced some weeks ago and, as we are nearing the end of this often elongated recruitment process, up comes the Christmas period, and with it holiday mode.

So now the organisation’s representatives are thinking, let’s wait until January. Why pay for all those public holidays? Or it might be as simple as, what’s the rush, it’s Christmas?

What has paled into insignificance is the searching, headhunting, assessing and report writing that has gone on in the background to get to this point. The time and resources invested in identifying that needle in the haystack – that almost perfect option that will assist the organisations in bridging skills gaps and setting them up for success in 2016.

No need to wait
Believe it or not, while many businesses slow down over the Christmas and New Year period, many roles still get filled. The smarter and more seasoned organisations understand the availability of talent during this period and seek to finalise their short list or placements ASAP. This allows them to focus on doing business upon their return, rather than being drawn back into the time-draining process of recruitment.

As you consider when to close the deal, it is useful to remember that you can offer unpaid leave if your organisation closes over Christmas – in fact, it is a common business practice. So let’s consider your options.

Option 1
Stall – hold off on an offer. But do so in the understanding that you are actually encouraging the candidate to continue looking, as nothing has been finalised.

Option 2
Offer immediately – strike while the iron is hot and take that talented candidate off the market.  Induct them now and commence their imbedding process. Don’t let the tyranny of time break their motivation for the role.

Remember: if you are a working with a recruitment agency that is a true business partner, you should be able to negotiate an extended guarantee period to cover any down time resulting from business closure.

So, as we move into the last few weeks of 2015, recognise that decisions still need to be made, opportunities need to be considered and outcomes finalised. But don’t let that great candidate get away while you are busy with other matters.


About the Author

Louisa Hinchen is an Associate Director at Morgan Consulting. A unique recruitment professional, she leads by example and believes that, at Morgan, it is genuinely about you. You the customer and you the candidate. It is no surprise that she writes speaks and writes with passion about customer service.

With a belief in continual learning, Louisa has an Associate Diploma of Business, a Diploma from the Australian Securities Institute, and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. She is currently studying part time and is two subjects away from completing her MBA with Griffith University.

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