In today's competitive labor market, you have to stay ahead of the game when it comes to recruitment. The hiring season refers to the peak times when job seekers actively search for new opportunities and companies seek to fill vacant positions. Understanding when the hiring season occurs can give you a competitive edge in attracting top talent.
In this article, we'll explore the importance of knowing when the hiring season is and how you can make the most of it for your hiring needs.
Takeaways from this blog post:
- Understanding the hiring season can help employers attract top talent and minimize recruitment costs.
- The busiest months for hiring are typically January and February.
- The slower months for hiring are during the summer due to reduced productivity and limited availability of job seekers.
Importance of understanding the hiring season
As an employer or hiring manager, it's important to know when it's the best and worst time to try to hire new employees. By strategically planning your hiring process during peak hiring months, you can increase your chances of finding qualified candidates and minimize the time and resources spent on recruitment tasks.
The most popular months for hiring
While you can post job openings at any point throughout the year, certain times are more favorable for job seekers due to various factors. Let's review some of the slowest and busiest months for hiring.
New year, new jobs. The start of a new year kicks off the first hiring spree since it often brings new budgets and fresh goals for businesses. This is the ideal time for organizations to evaluate their needs and plan for expansion or restructuring.
Monster's Hiring Snapshot1 consistently shows that January and February are the busiest months for job postings and job searches. Additionally, more jobs are added in January and February than at any other time of the year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics2 (BLS). This makes the post-holiday season winter months a popular time for companies to begin their hiring process.
Spring is also one of the busiest times for recruitment. There's a sense of urgency when it comes to springtime hiring. As the weather warms up, hiring managers and executives are busy planning summer vacations and don't have as much time for arduous interview processes. Candidates benefit from a faster hiring process with fewer rounds of interviews.
Recruitment cools down during the hottest time of the year. A 2023 survey from The Vacationer3 found that 85% of Americans planned to travel during the summer. This makes the summer months notoriously slow for hiring.
With key employees out of the office, reduced productivity can occur. Plus, job seekers who are enjoying their time off may have limited availability for interviews. Many companies also use up their human resources budget for hiring before the summer begins. However, even though this is a slow time for recruitment, it can still be possible to find great new hires. It may just be more of a challenge.
Fall is the final hiring spree of the year. Companies have had enough time to review their performance for the year and assess any gaps in their workforce. The fall season also often coincides with the start of the academic year, leading to an influx of students looking for work and internship programs, making it an excellent time for companies to fill positions.
How to determine peak hiring season for your organization
It's important to note that the hiring season can also vary depending on your industry and location. However, some general patterns can guide you in determining when the hiring season typically occurs for your organization. Here are a few things you can do to stay ahead of the game.
Research industry-specific hiring trends
First, you’ll want to research the specific trends in your industry. Retail and hospitality sectors may experience an increased demand for employees leading up to the holiday season or during peak travel periods. Similarly, industries like accounting and finance tend to hire more during tax season. Understanding these trends can help you align your hiring efforts accordingly.
Follow the academic calendar
Many job seekers, particularly fresh graduates or students seeking internships, follow the academic calendar. This means that they're more likely to be on the lookout for future job opportunities during specific times of the year, such as after graduation or during the summer months. Consider targeting these periods to attract top talent.
Stay updated on economic factors
Economic conditions can significantly impact the hiring landscape. When the economy is booming and businesses are expanding, the hiring season tends to be more favorable. On the other hand, during economic downturns or recessions, companies may be more cautious with their hiring plans. Monitor economic indicators to gauge the best time to ramp up your hiring efforts.
Attend job fairs and industry events
Spend some time networking. Job fairs and industry-specific events are excellent platforms to connect with potential candidates. These events are often organized during peak hiring seasons to maximize participation. Attending or hosting such events can help you tap into a pool of active job seekers and increase your chances of finding the right candidates.
Use online platforms to your advantage
In today's digital era, online platforms provide a year-round opportunity for hiring. Websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, job boards, and social media platforms can help you reach a wide range of competitive candidates irrespective of the hiring season. Utilize these platforms to maintain a consistent recruitment pipeline.
Additional tips for recruiting top talent
Our 2022 Employee Benefits Survey Report found that 82% of employees say that the benefits package an employer offers is an important factor in whether or not they accept a job.
Some of the most popular employee benefits include:
- Health benefits
- Retirement benefits
- Paid time off (PTO)
- Remote work or flexible work schedules
- Education benefits
- Professional development opportunities
While there are several employee perks you can offer, you should never overlook offering your employees a health benefit. According to our report, 87% of employees surveyed value health insurance benefits, and 92% of employers offer a health benefit. Not offering a healthcare benefit may result in a smaller pool of potential candidates and a higher turnover rate among current employees.
If traditional group health insurance is out of your price range, you have alternative options that are more cost-effective.
Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are flexible, employer-funded health benefits. They allow employers to reimburse employees tax-free for more than 200 eligible healthcare expenses. Depending on the type of HRA you offer, this can include health insurance premiums.
At PeopleKeep, we're experts on HRA administration and help thousands of employers reimburse their employees every day. You can manage your benefit in minutes each month with our easy-to-use software.
PeopleKeep offers the following HRAs:
- Qualified small employer HRA (QSEHRA)
- Individual coverage HRA (ICHRA)
- Group coverage HRA (GCHRA), also known as an integrated HRA
You can also offer your employees a taxable health stipend through WorkPerks by PeopleKeep. A health stipend is a set amount of money you offer your employees for their healthcare expenses. Health stipends offer employees more freedom since they're not subject to as many regulations as health insurance or HRAs.
You can also use stipends to enhance your benefits package with additional perks to attract the right candidates. Examples of lifestyle perks you can offer through a stipend are wellness programs, commuter benefits, and professional development opportunities.
No matter what benefits you decide to offer, be sure to list them in your job descriptions to help your organization stand out.
As an employer or hiring manager, one of the key aspects of successful recruitment is knowing when the hiring season is. Understanding the hiring trends and patterns can help you plan your hiring strategies effectively and ensure you attract the best prospective employees for your organization.
Remember, while it's helpful to have an idea of the general hiring seasons, every organization is unique. Your company can have unexpected staffing needs or be in a constant state of growth. By staying proactive, adaptable, and persistent, you can increase your chances of finding top talent no matter the time of year.
Holly is a content marketing specialist for PeopleKeep. Before joining the team in 2023, Holly worked in television news as a broadcast journalist. As an anchor and reporter, she communicated complex stories to the vast communities she served on a daily basis. Her background has given her a greater understanding of people and the issues that affect our lives. When Holly isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, exercising, and spending time at the beach.