Summer has traditionally been a slow time to hire, but according to the Society for Human Resource Management, employers are starting to expand their summer hiring efforts. Although summer seasonal jobs are commonly associated with recreational and outdoor work, many employers whose companies are hiring for the summer say they are hiring for a variety of professional and support positions, including roles in engineering (27 percent), IT (27 percent), sales (15 percent) and manufacturing (12 percent).
Another reason summer is an attractive season for hiring: far less competition for top talent. British IT recruiter Randstad Technologies crunched through its trove of data on when vacancies open up and when candidates start looking for new gigs. What they found is the summer offers the best ratio of talent to openings. In June, July, and August, there are 2.4 candidates for every job listing. Compare that to the winter months, when there are only 1.3 candidates per listing.
“If you want the best odds on scooping up high-flyers, August is the month to hire. These figures show the competition for the best talent is less intense,” commented Mike Beresford, managing director at Randstad.
All that said, recruiting in the summer requires a slightly different approach and savvy employers can maximize their efforts and get even further ahead before heading into the fall with a few tweaks to their strategy. Here are some of the best tips to keep in mind if you’re considering ramping up your hiring efforts this summer.
Adjust Your Messaging
Keeping it simple is more important than ever in the summer, when candidates are more likely to be using mobile devices to read job descriptions, schedule interviews or look at your company’s website. You’ll want to keep your messages short and easy to read, and make sure that you are mobile-friendly. And don’t be afraid to communicate by text, especially when it comes to scheduling time-sensitive interviews or discussing a job offer that’s on the table.
Don’t Let Your Interview Process Get Derailed…
Summer is actually a very advantageous time for candidates to take interviews. For most of the year, high-level technical talent might draw attention to themselves by suddenly “disappearing” for days or half-days at a time, but taking time off is far less conspicuous in the summer months. It’s also a lower stress time to be out of the office, because companies generally plan for slower velocity in product development over the summer.
However, the same factors can work against you when it comes time to schedule interviews. This is especially true when it comes to on-site interviews, which can be tricky to get on the calendar if your candidate needs to meet with multiple people who may have vacations of their own. For this reason, it’s important to be conscientious when scheduling and make sure that you or the hiring manager are setting expectations with the interview team about making interviews a priority, even if it means, for example, staying later than usual on a summer Friday.
At Hired, we see that the candidates with the most interview requests come off the market at a much faster rate than their peers, which is why it’s important to keep your hiring process as efficient as possible. In general, if you are taking more than three weeks from initial contact to final offer, you have far less chance of success than companies who are moving faster than you.
Days to Decision
… But If It’s Unavoidable, Be Upfront About It
Despite your best intentions, there may inevitably be instances in which your interview process takes longer than it would in other seasons. If this is the case, try to get out in front of the issue by being upfront with the candidate. Get a sense of how many other companies they’re interviewing with and how quickly they’re looking to make a decision. If they’re not in a hurry, they’ll likely still appreciate your candor, and if they are, you can try to accommodate their schedule by changing up the interview team or doing video interviews instead of onsites.
Go After Those Relo Candidates
Summer truly is the best time to find candidates open to relocation. This is particularly true for more senior talent who have family obligations that can make it more complicated to relocate during the school year. The same goes for candidates who might need to sell their home. In highly competitive markets like New York or San Francisco, you should always be considering candidates who live outside of your immediate area, but the relative ease of making a move in the summer months provides even more incentive for going after those out-of-town candidates.
Consider Contract-to-Hire Roles
More and more companies are utilizing the contract-to-hire method to ensure that the candidate is a solid fit before extending a full-time offer. If you are looking for contractors to fill in for people who are on extended vacations, sabbaticals or maternity leave, consider keeping them after the summer is over to help your company stand out from the other organizations who might also be looking for temporary workers.
Smart companies know that summer with a few tweaks to their hiring strategy, summer is actually a great time to recruit top talent with far less competition. With a bit of scrappiness and creativity, you can attract some of the best and brightest just in time to hit the ground running in the fall and ensure you hit your yearly goals.