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How to Overcome Recruitment Hurdles During the Festive Season

It's Chrissssstttttmmmaasssss! And you know what that means... A recruitment wasteland! (But it doesn't HAVE to be...)


As the season of joy unfolds, recruiters find themselves facing unique challenges amidst the twinkling lights and merry melodies of Christmas. The holiday season, while filled with festivities, can also present obstacles for those in the recruitment game. Here's a guide to overcoming the difficulties and making your Christmas recruitment a success.


1. The Challenge of the Slowdown


One of the primary difficulties during Christmas is the noticeable slowdown in hiring activities. Many professionals take time off, and decision-makers may be unavailable. To counter this, plan ahead. Anticipate potential delays and adjust your timelines. Consider initiating the recruitment process early or be prepared to hit the ground running once the holiday rush subsides. Be sure to communicate any potential delays to your candidates.


For example: Consider the case of Sarah, a talented software developer actively seeking new opportunities. Sarah applied for a position just before the holiday season, excited about the prospect but wary of potential delays. By recognising the potential slowdown, you initiate the process early. You communicate with Sarah about the expected timelines and ensure transparency about the potential delays during the holiday period. This proactive approach not only managed Sarah's expectations but also showcased your commitment to a smooth recruitment process.

2. Festive Fatigue and Job Seekers


Job seekers, too, may experience a sense of festive fatigue. With social engagements, travel, and family commitments, their attention might be divided. Combat this by tailoring your communication. Be respectful of their time, send clear and concise messages, and emphasise the long-term benefits of exploring new career opportunities even amidst the festive hustle.


Sticking with our job seeker, Sarah - Sarah, amidst planning family gatherings and holiday trips, found it challenging to focus on her job search, but you have acknowledged the festive season's demands on job seekers. In your communication with Sarah, you emphasized the flexibility of the process, offering alternative interview times and ensuring that you respected her time commitments. This approach not only alleviated Sarah's stress but also demonstrated the your understanding of the holiday season's demands.

3. Ghosting: The Ghost of Christmas Past 👻

image of a cute christmas ghost with a santa hat and entangled in christmas tree lights

Ghosting is a universal experience in recruitment whether you're a recruiter or a jobseeker but it becomes even more prevalent during the holiday season.


Job seekers and even hiring managers might delay responses or go silent.


The solution? Keep communication lines open. Set clear expectations about response times and maintain a proactive approach. Regular check-ins can prevent misunderstandings and keep the recruitment process on track. It's also important to take note of everyone's annual leave around the Festive period and ensure everything is tied up before an individual takes off for the holidays.


4. Festive Distractions in Decision-Making


The holiday spirit can sometimes cloud decision-making processes. Stakeholders may be more relaxed or preoccupied, leading to delayed approvals. Mitigate this challenge by emphasizing the importance of maintaining the usual workflow. Clearly communicate the impact of delays on both the recruitment process and the overall team.


5. The Art of Balancing Festive Flexibility and Recruitment Rigor


Maintain a delicate balance between embracing the festive season and upholding recruitment standards. Offer flexibility where possible, such as scheduling interviews to accommodate unique holiday schedules. At the same time, ensure that the essence and diligence of the recruitment process remain intact.


image of a work desk decorated with christmas decorations

6. Seasonal Scheduling Woes


Coordinating interviews and assessments becomes trickier with varying holiday schedules. Utilise scheduling tools that consider the availability of all parties involved. This not only streamlines the process but also ensures that the right people are present during crucial decision-making moments.


7. Leveraging Technology for a Virtual Christmas Miracle


Incorporate technology to bridge gaps caused by physical distances during the holidays. Virtual interviews, collaborative platforms, and digital assessments can keep the recruitment process moving seamlessly. Embrace the power of tech to turn potential obstacles into opportunities.


8. Making the most of the slower period


The festive season presents a unique opportunity for recruiters to turn their attention towards often neglected but crucial ad hoc administrative tasks. With it's quieter ambiance, it can serve as a chance to catch up on these duties and set the stage for a productive new year.


Here are some things you could spend time working on while you've got a quiet minute:

  • Tackle administrative backlog that may have built up during busier times

  • Reflect on the past year - review and analyse the efficiency of your recruitment processes over the past months. Identify pain points and areas for improvement to gain a clear understanding of what needs enhancement in the new year.

  • Update and organise the database. Review and update candidate profiles, ensuring that contact info, skills and experience are current. Consider implementing a system for categorizing and tagging candidates for future ease of reference.

  • Fine tune email templates, response messages, and any other automated communication tools. Ensuring that your messaging is clear, professional, and reflects your company's values sets the tone for positive candidate interactions in the coming year.

  • Consider investing time in training and development. Identify areas where skills enhancement can benefit your recruitment processes. This could include learning about new technologies, refining interview techniques, or staying updated on industry trends.

  • Clear your desk. Physically and metaphorically. Decluttering both your physical and digital workspaces can significantly improve efficiency. Dispose of unnecessary paperwork, organize electronic files, and create a clean slate for the upcoming year.

  • Set Goals for the New Year. Define key performance indicators, outline recruitment strategies, and establish targets. Having a clear roadmap ensures that you hit the ground running when the recruitment pace picks up again.


The Christmas period, often seen as a time of relaxation, can paradoxically become a treasure trove of productivity for you. By using this time wisely to address ad hoc administrative tasks, you set the stage for a more streamlined and efficient recruitment process in the coming year

an image that says: Did you know?  January is the best time to advertise jobs as most job seekers hold off on applying for jobs until the new year. However, hiring professionals are slow to respond to this trend and typically wait until February/March to update their open positions.   Our advice? Get ahead of the game, know what roles you need filled BEFORE the new year and have job advertisements ready to go from early January to ensure you don‘t miss out on talent.

This Christmas, let the challenges of recruitment be stepping stones to success rather than stumbling blocks. By anticipating and addressing these difficulties head-on, recruiters can ensure a smooth and effective hiring process that brings in the best talent to start the new year on a high note.


Wishing you a resilient and fruitful Festival Holiday recruitment season!

an image that says "happy holidays from diverse talent"

Written by Katie Ashenhurst - Digital Design Engineer

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