Why the Holidays are the Best Time to “Present” Candidates with An Opportunity

November 28, 2023

Matt Gainsford

Matt Gainsford

The holidays are the perfect time to get ahead of the competition for talent by securing that 2024 hire in the final weeks of 2023. 


New Year resolutions don’t begin on January 1st, a vacation doesn’t start the moment you board the plane, and a new hires first day isn’t the day they start with the company. It might look that way, but chase the spark back, and you’ll see that these ideas and plans started way before the date they appeared to commence. That is why the holidays are the BEST time to engage in passive recruitment strategies. The holidays are the perfect time to get ahead of the competition for talent by securing that 2024 hire in the final weeks of 2023. 

The holiday season is often considered a time of rest, but for recruiters, it’s also a strategic window of opportunity. Contrary to popular belief, passive candidates—those not actively seeking new opportunities—are surprisingly receptive during this festive period. Let’s delve into some compelling trends that shed light on the unique dynamics of talent acquisition during the holidays. 

In this moment, let us present you with a present that will help you increase your hiring presence in the world of passive candidate recruitment. 

1. Increased Online Activity: 

The holiday season sees a significant spike in online activity, especially across platforms like LinkedIn. In some cases, that spike is as much as 73%! Many professionals use the downtime to update their LinkedIn profiles, explore new career opportunities, and connect with industry peers. Sometimes a little “me” time, or “time to work on myself” means finally getting around to updating that resume, exploring what jobs are out there, and perhaps even sending out some applications too.

2. Reflective Career Assessment and Job Satisfaction Concerns: 

The end of the year prompts individuals to reflect on their professional journey, and for many potential candidates it can be a time to reevaluate their career goals during the holiday season. While many companies are slowing down their hiring process for the holidays, for the ones looking toward the new year, it can represent an opportune time to present compelling opportunities that align with these reflections. 

The holidays can also bring heightened concerns about job satisfaction and career progression. This dissatisfaction often stems from year-end performance reviews and reflections on personal and professional growth. For candidates in high KPI-driven environments, they may be looking at goal/target increases that are set to take place in the New Year and wondering how they might hit them. For others, it could look like the reviewing of an unpredictable year. Recruiters can leverage this introspective phase to present enticing career advancements.  

3. Openness to Networking Events: 

With publications like Forbes suggesting that candidates send out Holiday Greetings as an excuse to strategically connect with networks, or to casually mention in conversation how professional goals are being reassessed, there is an awareness of how to make the best of the holiday season. 

The festive season brings forth a plethora of networking events, both virtual and in-person. In a survey (commissioned by Hormel) of 2000 Americans who celebrate a winter holiday, 70% plan to attend at least one event. With passive candidates admitting to being more open to attending such events during the holidays, recruiters are provided with an ideal platform to initiate meaningful conversations and build relationships. From hiring engineers of eggnog to filling marketing roles over mulled wine the holidays are the perfect time for low-stakes conversations with high-impact potential. 

4. Reduced Competition: 

With many companies slowing down their recruitment processes during the holiday season, there’s a noticeable reduction in job postings and active outreach to potential candidates. This creates a unique advantage for recruiters—less competition for top talent and a greater likelihood of their messages being seen and considered (especially with the increase in social media use by candidates). 

5. Increased Candidate Availability: 

From the week before Thanksgiving to the end of the year, more and more candidates are taking advantage of the slowdown by taking additional time off. Two days for Thanksgiving, why not take the whole week (or at least an extra day)? The week between Christmas and New Year, no one’s really getting anything done, and there’s a few days of PTO left to burn… This can mean more time for phone calls, more time for potential onsite interviews (with less hassle of obtaining time off), and more time for networking conversations.  

Seizing the Opportunity: 

As a recruiter or hiring manager, it’s crucial to recognize and capitalize on the receptivity of passive candidates during the holiday season. Crafting personalized and engaging messages that speak to their career aspirations, highlight the unique benefits of your organization, and showcase how the role aligns with their professional goals. 

To Wrap Up (like a present on Christmas Eve). 

The holidays are not only a time for festivities but, also a strategic period for recruiters to connect with passive candidates. By understanding and leveraging these statistics, you can unlock a wealth of talent and potentially make key placements that set the stage for a successful year ahead. After all, the best way to hit those New Year resolutions goals is to have a few of them wrapped up by December 31st.

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