7 Jul

Understanding Seasonal Hiring Trends

Posted by Jamie Dargie

Hiring is a year-round endeavour for most firms. Vacancies crop up at any time of year, and growth often happens without much warning at all, leading to a flurry of hiring activity.

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Nonetheless, you’ve probably noticed seasonal hiring trends in your business. Seasonal hiring happens in virtually every industry, even those you wouldn’t think of as “seasonal.” Understanding these trends is key to managing your hiring process more effectively. It’s time to rethink your recruitment strategy with seasonal trends in mind.


Seasonal Industries

When people talk about seasonal hiring trends, they most often think about seasonal industries, such as construction and farming. The spring and summer are very busy for those involved in construction, while the fall and winter tend to see a slow-down in the industry. Industries such as tourism and retail also have seasonal swings.

In these industries, it’s important to know when to hire and which type of workers to hire. For construction jobs, you’ll likely want to hire on a contract basis, bringing skilled people in on a project-by-project basis. In retail, you might consider temporary positions, with a defined length of service in the hiring terms. Once the busy season is over, the jobs end.


Non-Seasonal Industries

There are some industries you probably consider non-seasonal: IT, engineering, all sorts of office work. These jobs go on rain or shine, summer or winter, and the weather and season have relatively little impact on the demand for this kind of work.

The season actually might have more influence on demand than you think, however. In the summer, for example, you’ll need to schedule around long weekends and vacations. With this in mind, you might consider hiring temporary workers to fill these seasonal employment gaps.

You might also notice an uptick in business in September, as everyone gets back to work after the summer. Or you may see January is a busy time for your company. The tax industry is certainly a seasonal one, with a rush from February to April.


Why Understanding Trends Is Important

You may have noticed seasonal swings, but you may not realize why they’re so important to your hiring practices. Essentially, knowing when your firm is busy helps you hire more effectively. If you know business picks up in February and you’ll be busy right through to May, you can plan to hire people and have them trained before the crunch hits. If you wait, you might be trying to hire in the middle of the busiest period of the year—and, as you know, hiring isn’t easy right now.

Paying attention to seasonal trends also lets you know who and how you should hire. If you have a big project coming up, you might decide to contract someone for the duration of the project. If you know you need to cover vacations all summer, you’ll probably consider hiring for the summer, possibly in a temporary capacity. Knowledge is power in this case.


How Following Trends Enables You to Hire the Right People

When you’re aware of your seasonal hiring trends, you can more effectively map out who you need to hire, when you’ll need to hire them by, and on what basis you’ll hire them. Having a plan in hand saves you from scrambling madly to get someone into position while you’re busy, and it helps you prevent making a bad hire due to rushed decision making.

It can also save you money, and not just because of lower turnover costs. You’ll also have a better idea of when you need to hire someone temporarily or on contract, versus when you actually have a need for another permanent position.

Partnering with a recruiting firm, searching early, and knowing exactly what you’re looking for will help you get the best candidates for every position you need to hire for.

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Topics: Hiring

Jamie Dargie

Jamie is responsible for leading, developing, and executing the vision, strategy, and business objectives for Eastern Canada, including Toronto and Montreal. A recruitment expert across three continents for over 20 years, Jamie possesses deep industry knowledge having run multi-disciplinary teams for international and domestic recruitment campaigns within contingent search and workforce management for RPO and MSP projects.

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