Why December 2020 Is The Most Lucrative Recruiting Month This Decade

With 14 million losing their unemployment benefits, this December will be flooded with suddenly interested prospects. It will literally be the most lucrative recruiting month. For the first time in memory, a tidal wave of 14 million individuals will all instantly be forced into active job search mode (on a single day after Christmas). And because most were laid off in mass because of the pandemic, this group of prospects is well-trained, and they have no performance issues. The best part of this recruiting is that most recruiting leaders have no plans to take advantage of this surge. 

Historically, there have been other surges in the supply of prospects, but since 9/11, they have not been concentrated in a single month. Fortunately, this splurge in the supply is not likely to be matched with a planned increase in recruiting competition for smart recruiters. Partly because traditionally, December is the slowest of all months for active recruiting (the number of job postings is often down by as much as 35%). And after an exhausting 2020, during this particular December, realistically, most recruiters and hiring managers that are unaware of this surge have already begun mentally planning to postpone any serious recruiting until at least January of 2021. Rather than a postponement in recruiting, smart recruiters should take advantage of this once in a decade startling differential between supply and demand and consciously put together a plan to supercharge their organization’s recruiting during this December.

Additional Reasons Why December 2020 Is A Lucrative Recruiting Month

In addition to the sudden surplus of active jobseekers, there are many other reasons why December 2020 is a once in a generation recruiting opportunity.

  • Don’t expect any change in the expiration of unemployment benefits – with the continuing turmoil in Congress, the odds of any significant extension in federal unemployment benefits are, unfortunately, low.
  • Limited holiday travel means more time for job search – with few extended holiday trips planned because of the pandemic. Fortunately, that means that those that enter job search mode will have more available time at home for job search, making applications, and remote interviews.
  • Remote work also makes the currently employed more available – in addition to the unemployed prospects. With many employees working from home, no boss is looking over their shoulder. So, it is easier for employed prospects to find the time to apply and interview. 
  • December is always a great month for recruiting sales, retail, warehousing, and delivery – in addition to the surge. After Christmas, there are significant seasonal layoffs of experienced retail, warehouse, and delivery employees, further increasing your available December candidate pool, especially if these individuals can be re-purposed for your jobs. And with year-end bonuses paid out, many in sales are also rethinking their future. 
  • Competition is low because some firms struggle to hire anyone during December – many firms have exhausted their headcount budget toward the end of their fiscal year. While other firms (especially tech firms) completely shut down operations during the last 2 weeks of December. In other cases, hiring managers at other firms are so distracted because of holiday activities and year and wrap-ups that they are simply not available for hiring-related activities. And as a result, these normally fierce recruiting competitors offer no competition to those organizations that are smart enough to recruit during December.
  • During December, many rethink their future – the best recruiting prospects are forward-looking. So, it makes sense for them to spend at least some time during the weeks before the end of the year reevaluating their current work and life situation. Some may be considering a move because they realize before tax time that they need more income. Others will invariably be rethinking whether they want to spend another year in their current job or in the same low job security industry as their last job. Smart recruiting leaders can take advantage of this rethinking, and proactively propose new career opportunities to them. 
  • If you are in global recruiting mode, realize that not everyone celebrates this holiday – you should take a step back and remind yourself that Christmas is primarily a Christian holiday. Suppose you are one of the many organizations that realize that remote work allows you to recruit, literally, everywhere around the world. In that case, you should take advantage of the fact that many global prospects will be available for job searching because they are not distracted by Christmas activities. 
  • Even during a normal December, there is no drop in applicants – even with the traditional December slowdown in job postings. Recruiters must realize that traditionally the number of job seekers does not decrease significantly from the average during December. So, there is ample supply and lower competition during every December. 

Final Thoughts

The smartest recruiting leaders realize recruiting is a head-to-head competition. And that you will recruit a much higher quality talent when the supply of experienced talent is extraordinarily high, and the number of active recruiting competitors is disproportionately low. And that differential perfectly describes the recruiting situation during December of 2020. In addition, because most recruiting leaders are not aware of, or have not planned for this sudden surplus of talent. You are likely to catch your opposition completely unaware. Go get them tiger!

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About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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