It’s that time of the year where here in New Zealand many people and businesses are caught in a confusing whirlwind of priorities.

In many cases business can feel slow, a little sluggish, either as part of a pre-Christmas lull where people are limiting their spending, or they’ve already got half an eye on the beach and the call forward is already mentally on.

And yet, things don’t stop coming at you, demanding more and more of your time and attention. Deadlines are getting tighter as people demand loose ends tied sooner, and calendar events from your personal life start encroaching ever more into your 9-5 schedules as the juggling act begins.

It’s like a grown up version of Mad-vember for the business world!

Many of you out there will be planning on adding to your teams and resources in 2020. Whilst businesses have recently felt held back by feelings of uncertainty, and resistance to change, economists are still talking about the New Zealand economy as “ready for lift off”.

So if your plan is to buckle up and join the ride in 2020, when should you start running your recruitment process? Right now, with 4 weeks left before the drawbridges are properly pulled up? Or wait until January for a refreshed, invigorated (and ok, slightly bloated) set of jobseekers?

Hiring Before Christmas

If you want someone to start working for you some time in January then definitely start now. A proper recruitment process will usually take at least three weeks, giving you just enough time to make the lucky candidate’s Christmas by giving them an offer of employment to mull over the glazed ham.

Often the best talent is already gainfully employed, meaning a 4 week notice period taking them close to the end of January anyway.

There are also an increasing number of overseas workers entering our shores as the days lengthen and temperatures rise in our hemisphere. If your business has room for hiring skilled talent that just happens to be lugging a backpack, now is the time to move. They’re not so predisposed to taking the whole of summer off and will be looking to make some cash sooner rather than later.

Hiring After Christmas

If you can wait a bit longer, and can handle someone starting with you well past Waitangi Day, then it could be best to start the recruitment process with a clearer head in January.

Your process won’t be as hurried and you will often find a greater number of locally-based candidates applying, who have had time to reflect on their career over the Christmas break, and decided to start exploring the market.

Many of them will have probably made a new job one of their top New Year’s Resolutions too, so you’ll be in line with the mindfulness coach and the gym membership salesperson when assessing their suitability for your company!

It makes for a smoother, less hurried, and more thought out process that will likely generate a better onboarding experience for all.

Workforce Planning

Whichever way you decide to go, start planing for where your resourcing gaps are right now, so you can decide on which approach to take. Deciding to wait until after Christmas is well and good, but not if you discover that the key hiring managers who will need to conduct interviews are hidden away in some corner of the Coromandel for most of January.

Another good plan is to use this time of year to spring clean your HR policies, processes and procedures to make sure you’re in good shape for 2020.


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