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Holiday Hiring, do it right!

This post was written by: Tegan Valeny

Desperate to get new hires in place for September?

Currently running a hiring process that is lengthy due to vacations and holidays?

Keen to make sure that the summer doesn’t cause too much disruption?

Hiring throughout the holidays can take on average 1.5 – 2 x as long. Consequently, it is really important to organise a recruitment timeline before starting a process. Check if and when Candidates and Hiring Managers are away and manage everybody’s expectations. Recruiting across the summer, can be a seamless and efficient process. It is ALL about the preparation, organisation and management of expectations.

Timing is everything! Don’t start a hiring process unless you know you can finish it. Before starting a recruitment process, block out times to review profiles, conduct interviews, and present offers for all stakeholders involved. 95% of hiring processes that are planned well end in successful recruitment. Furthermore, Candidates who know what to expect in a hiring process, feel much happier and comfortable and you will see the best of them in interview.

Make sure everyone is agreed on budget, job title, location, benefits, region, team size etc before embarking on a recruitment process. Are HR, Legal, Finance and Hiring Managers all in agreement? On working with global companies, we have found that sometimes external departments can slow a process down, if they are not kept up to date at the start of a process. Agreeing on a salary, even if there is a broad range, means that at the end of a process offers can be given quickly.

It is crucial to be mindful of the candidate experience, and communicate well.To represent your organisation in the best light, remember that candidates are people, and you will come across brilliantly if they are kept up to date and not left with radio silence. “People don’t remember what you did, they remember how you made them feel…” recruitment is no different. Let all Candidates know when interviews are booked for, and keep them updated on how long it will take to give them a decision. It’s ok to tell Candidates it will be a week long wait due to holiday absence. That’s far better than having them guessing. 99% of Candidates understand that a recruitment process takes time and are happy to be patient if they are given good timelines. 100% of Candidates will remain flexible if they are waiting for weeks without an update.

Can you have flexibility with interview scheduling?

If people are away, to keep the process moving forwards, move the interview order around! If a key stakeholder in the hiring process is away on vacation, get all the other interviews completed in the interim time. Then they can be slotted in at the end of the process. If we are asking Candidates to be flexible during the holidays, then companies should also showcase this quality too. It demonstrates good willing and proves that you are a good place to work. What is more important… securing top talent or being ridged in an interview process? Candidates are much more likely to be flexible if the organisation itself reflects that.

Look at combining and shortening the hiring process.

Candidates that have shorter interview processes are statistically less likely to suffer from interview fatigue and therefore more likely to accept the role. Good recruitment processes are not always made up of many long interviews. Three is the magic number! It is far better to have 3 strong interviews than 5 mediocre ones and leaves companies in a stronger place.

Prebook interview times out so that everyone knows when interviews will take place.

Especially if it’s a face to face interview.Hiring Managers, Senior Leaders and HR have very busy diaries. It can be really hard to get interviews booked in with everyone, especially over the holidays. Before starting a process identify times when interviews can happen and put placeholders in the diary to protect them. This will make booking interviews in later much easier. Adding structure to an interview process and proactively protecting time to interview your prospective employees may feel like a big ask, when time is precious but it can make all the difference to a successful outcome.

Get ahead with references so they don’t delay you.

Make sure your Candidate has got referee’s ready to go. Ensure you have their contact details and reference forms ready for them to complete. Take references while you are wating for security checks, or for contracts to be signed. Remember referees go on holiday too, so have some back-ups during vacations times.There’s nothing worse for a Candidate who is excited to start with your company having to wait weeks for a reference to come through, make sure that you aren’t waiting for them to come back, by requesting as early as possible.

Be prepared that resignations may not happen quickly – particularly if a Hiring Manager is away.

Over Holiday seasons, while candidates are often eager to resign, depending on company policy, they may not be able to if their own manager is on annual leave. This means you may not get a resignation and indeed a start date as quickly as you would like. Check how a Candidate has to resign when you make them an offer and what will be required of them.

Get aligned on start dates ASAP!

Notice periods are not only a legal requirement, but also very important. Exceptional talent cannot simply walk away from their current roles. Work with Candidates to agree on a start date that works for everyone and understand that compromise may be required. From the first interview, start to clarify when a realistic start date will be. Some candidates have 3 – 6 month notice periods, and this is not abnormal. Therefore, don’t expect that your outstanding candidate is going to be with you in a few weeks! (Even though that would be nice!)

The holidays come around each year, and at neuco we firmly believe that holiday hiring does not need to be stressful. Following a few thought through processes can help you to secure top talent when you need it.

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