Time to move on from the idea of ‘hiring seasons’

Time to move on from the idea of ‘hiring seasons’

Is there a good time to be job hunting and does it pay to have the first or last interview?

Simon Broomer, coach at CareerBalance, a jobs advisory service in the City, says:
The simple answer to the first question is no. At one time, the periods from September to December and January to April would see increased recruitment activity from employers.

But recently, employers have been hiring and firing as the need arises. For example, this year JP Morgan has taken on 13,000 staff globally for compliance-related roles to prevent a repeat of the heavy regulatory fines it has received.

Employers are also taking longer to recruit as they believe they can find a better fit of candidates if they are patient.

Often, the recruitment process can spread over several months. For more senior staff on three or more months’ notice periods it can take six months or more between advertising a role or placing it with a recruitment consultant or headhunter and the time someone starts work.

We encourage our jobseeking clients to study the job market at all times of the year, and to approach employers speculatively at any time, except around Christmas.

We are seeing more opportunistic hiring by businesses who will interview candidates they feel can add immediate value, and we are seeing examples of employers finding and approaching potential candidates through websites such as LinkedIn.

Many graduates mistakenly believe there are fixed recruitment times for graduate schemes. But even here you can take the initiative and ask about opportunities by contacting the graduate recruitment team.

Many smaller businesses do not have formal recruitment processes, and your CV landing on the right desk at the right time could lead to an interview and job offer.

Julia Menaul, executive coach at Spark Coaching and Training, says:
It does seem like a bad time to be looking for a job – but even a basic search of the internet shows thousands of vacancies. Psychologically, you need to move on from the idea that there is a good time to hunt for jobs.

Even during holiday periods businesses have to function and they still need to hire people – so recruitment never stops. It might even mean you face less competition and have time to network.

The first or last interview dilemma relates to the “primacy/recency” effect. This is a psychological theory that states that behavior is influenced by something we have seen and experienced either first (primacy) or last (recency).

If your interviewer is doing a lot of interviewing then they often leave their decisions to the end of all the interviews as there is too much information to assimilate. Therefore, the most recent information seems to be the best, and a bias effect occurs toward the most recent candidates interviewed.

If we only have a few interviews we simply judge quickly, and primacy dominates – so we rely on first impressions and tend to choose the applicants we interviewed earlier in the process.

If you have no influence over a first or last interview, try to concentrate on a strong start and a strong finish in your interview.

Source: Financial Times

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