The Gift of Holiday Hiring

The holidays often bring warm thoughts of family, celebrations—and some hard-earned time off. In the land title insurance, settlement, and appraisal industries, we see this season as a time to close the books on a year well-done. Office parties take the place of team meetings; we wrap up both projects and presents. We sometimes leave many new challenges for the New Year—including hiring.

If you push hiring to the bottom of your To-Do list, you’re not alone. It’s common for both companies and candidates to slow down their job searches at the end of the year, even though many business writers like Debra Donston-Miller of Ladders advise against it.

After all, the breaks that the end of the year promises also come with the final push to meet quarterly benchmarks, set new goals, and finalize future budgets. A lot of stress can come with that holiday cheer!

But it’s also true that the New Year rush to hire floods the market with both jobs and job-seekers. Instead of thinking of winter as a time to put a freeze on hiring, consider six reasons to warm up to holiday hiring:

1. Seasons’ Greetings and Budget Meetings

A new hire is an investment in the health and talent of a team.

Throughout the Real Estate and Financial sectors, the end of the calendar year usually means it’s time to re-budget. New hires can be a big factor in the layout of your financial plan. But it’s nearly impossible to get an accurate picture of your finances or your hiring capability without having a sense of what your team will look like in the new year. Starting the hiring process early can eliminate some of the financial surprise expected in bringing on new personnel.

Spending a little more can mean high returns in productivity and revenue long after the holiday season ends. You can set your team up for success and growth on the very first day of the new year by finding a new leader early.

2. New Year. New You. New Hire.

Resolution Season can prime people for change, even if they aren’t actively job-hunting.

The culture of making resolutions and the symbolic power of the New Year can influence us even if we don’t plan on making a formal resolution. This can be good for businesses looking for top talent when unemployment is at a 10-year low. The open-mindedness and good-will associated with the season can make even passive candidates more receptive to change.

Just as businesses use this time to budget, individuals are also thinking about meeting financial goals. Maybe unsurprisingly, 53% of resolutions involve saving money. Even for high-earners, the holidays can come with a huge price tag. There are donations to make, gifts to buy, and travel arrangements to book. A new job, better benefits, higher pay, or even a shorter commute can all appeal to goals for saving.

3. All I Want for Christmas is an Em-ploy-ee

Holiday hiring puts you in front of top talent first.

Low unemployment rates are driving up the competition to find quality workers. Top talent is tied down across the board in title insurance, appraisal, and settlement. The executive and managerial levels are especially tight, with only 2% of leadership candidates unemployed at this time last year.

However, you can get an edge in the candidate search by leveraging holiday time. The reality is that many companies do slow down hiring, despite expert advice not to. This can be to your advantage. Holiday hiring puts you on candidates’ radar long before the traditional mid-January job rush. With fewer companies competing for candidates at once, you can make meaningful, lower-pressure connections with the best people.

4. There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

The hiring process takes time, and the holidays build in plenty of it.

The holidays offer a decent amount of flexibility, between office closures and project completions. Candidates are more likely to be able to take time away for interviews without compromising their normal work. Furthermore, Glassdoor found that over half of workers only use up “about half” of their vacation time. Vacation accrual not only allows for flexibility to interview. It also offers candidates a good reason to submit their resignation early in order to start fresh in a new role.

5. It’s Snow Time for Home-Buying

During the winter slowdown, new executives have a chance to fully settle-in with their teams.

The real estate market typically shows the least activity between October and February. This also slows down title insurance, settlement, and appraisal needs. It may seem strange to take on new employees during the off-season. But it takes time to onboard and to acclimate to company culture take time. Even the most adaptable leaders often face an adjustment period with new teams and office environments. You can capitalize on the holiday season as a chance to give new leaders time to hit their stride before peak season. And you won’t be as likely to use valuable resources to hire, onboard, or train during the summer rush.

6. 8 Days of Hanukkah, 36 Days of Hiring

By moderate estimates, it takes 36 days to hire someone.

At the executive level, this timeline easily increases to 45-90+ days to allow for market research and the vetting of high-quality candidates. If you wait until January 1 to start a talent search, you may not have the position filled until March or later.

While this timeline can be daunting, any progress is still progress. Using the holidays to work for you starts the hiring process earlier than for those companies that wait until after New Year’s Day. Holiday hiring helps you beat the January rush and moves up the likely timeline for placement.

The Bow on it All:

Holiday hiring can give you an advantage over competitors. Top talent is in extremely high demand. Getting an early start on hiring can match you with executives before the New Year hiring thaw and jumpstart your returns at the closing table. And if resources are tight during the seasonal bustle, there are other ways to help you cross “Holiday Hiring” off your Wishlist. Networking at holiday parties, interviewing digitally, or even partnering with a trusted third-party recruiter can all be ways to capitalize on the holidays without added stress. No matter how you use holiday hiring, think of it as the best business gift you can give yourself.