Seasonal Recruitment

Written by Sarah Tomlin

Understanding the ups and downs of the ‘recruitment seasons’ can allow planning and preparation for both busier and quieter periods. Looking at the past trends in recruitment, we can get a good indication of what to typically expect during the year and allow for a more accurate recruitment game plan.

January, February, and March

The new year sees the biggest competition for placements and an annual spike generally in recruitment. Due to both personal reasons, i.e., higher pay, a shorter commute, bigger challenges, and corporate changes for example switch of business direction, expansion, or new budgets.

The movement of candidates can cause a 'domino' effect and lead to an increase in job adverts, plus trigger more reactive hiring to deal with the current situation rather than a longer-term position.

The retail sector continues to be busy into January with the sales period continuing and often temporary staff is utilised more so to deal with the seasonal uplift, whereby other business areas for example public services, may be limited until new budgets are announced.

April, May, and June

With Easter usually around these times and often improved weather beginning, a number of industries see an uplift within this quarter, especially agriculture, tourism, and travel. Easter can also bring enhanced retail opportunities and the double bank holiday offers increased temporary staffing needs.

Another industry that sees a definite pick-up around these months is construction, again largely due to the better weather.

July, August, and September

The third Quarter often sees a lull in the recruitment world due to it being holiday time for many, even into September hiring can be a low priority as holiday prices drop again and many enjoy a break. But on the flip side, this time of year sees some industries flourish, for example, leisure and tourism - with July seeing a spike in the demand for short-term staff. 

Students embark on a hunt for a part-time job at this time of year as many have between 6 and 12 weeks off and these jobs are often within the leisure, food, and drinks sectors. General businesses can also utilise temporary staff over the summer period to cover holidays, for example, roles within call centers and customer service.

October, November, and December

Autumn sees a traditionally busy period and October is the second most likely month to fill a vacancy. Depending on the industry's specialism, for some agencies, September until the end of December can be their busiest period. Candidate levels on the other hand can diminish in the run-up to Christmas. Interest in looking at new roles can be put on hold to wind down, embrace the festivities, and forget until the new year.

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