The summer slowdown was a welcome break for most people – the office was quieter, clients were often less demanding, and projects were frequently put on the back burner until schools reopened a couple of weeks ago. Except in recruitment. Hiring is a year-round business and companies simply cannot afford to delay their growth plans until summer ends. But how can the recruitment process continue when everyone has disappeared?
Even when the market is booming, there can be a distinct lack of candidates and urgency when it comes to recruitment, with clients, decision makers and candidates alike away on holiday at various times. Our advice for next summer is to plan ahead and to adapt your usual methods to ensure the very best candidates are still found. It requires a certain amount of flexibility from all parties, but by embracing transparency and concentrating on communication, there is very little that can’t be achieved, even if one of the key players is unavailable.
An active candidate will be only too happy to share their holiday plans and dates, enabling a timeline to be estimated from the outset – this can easily be revised if the employer is equally willing to find out when key decision makers are away, ensuring both parties are in the loop and have similar expectations. When interviews can’t take place, could a face-to-face Skype call be an option to keep the ball rolling? Could other messaging apps and methods be utilised if mobile calls aren’t a realistic option abroad, to keep all parties up to speed?
It’s worth bearing in mind too that not everyone is away – another option that can present itself in summer is an interview during office hours. A candidate may well have a lighter workload or an absent boss that means an interview is possible during typically off-limits hours – another option to be flexible with. The lighter workload and quieter office also brings the passive candidate into play and so candidates may be more available to meet in core hours and we should make sure all avenues are explored.
The market this summer was very busy. To attract the very best candidates our advice was to be as flexible and patient as possible – to take advantage if a candidate’s employer offered earlier Friday finishes during the summer and interview them then for example – it could have afforded a competitive edge for Q4 while others were still waiting for return flights to land!