New year, new you? How about a new job?
Blog by Kathryn Stewart for QJumpers New Zealand, January 2020.
You’re not alone in thinking about your job in January, people worldwide are re-evaluating their careers. Many of them will decide to change jobs - if they haven’t already.
In January job advertising increases regardless of the summer holiday period. The question is, is it just people making new year’s resolutions? Perhaps companies are merely carrying over December advertising that they had on hold? The answer is much more complex.
Employers don’t often recruit at the end of the year for a variety of reasons:
· They may be awaiting their new budget for January or the new financial year.
· It’s not commercially viable to pay new starters statutory pay/time in lieu for the Christmas period unless there’s a requirement for staff cover.
· Many businesses are winding down and run a skeleton staff so they don’t need the extra workers.
· December is very busy and staff are likely to be exhausted and stressed. Some may not be happy about training new staff at this time (who could just forget everything they’ve learnt over the holidays).
· Traditionally December is one of the worst times to advertise vacancies. However shrewd managers aim to complete hiring over November/December and their new starters are ready to begin in January bright eyed and bushy tailed. This trend seems to be changing though with Recruiters and HR teams working at full capacity right through to Christmas Eve.
For the job searcher there are different factors to consider:
· Many plan to remain with the business for the end of year bonuses, parties or gifts.
· To use any saved holiday leave that they have accrued to pad out the stat days - new starters may not have extra leave.
· New Year’s Resolutions, dread of returning to work and longer summer holidays all contribute to people reconsidering their jobs. There can be many emotional reasons people want to change.
· The available time to job search, update CVs and investigate options.
· Family or financial pressure over the holidays to change jobs.
· More job opportunities are typically on offer in January.
Global and regional issues impacting the job market:
· Escalating tensions between countries impact commercial sectors, Burger Fuel is now pulling out of Iran for example.
· In slow growth markets there can be business cutbacks in ‘non-essential’ roles such as marketing etc.
· Global automation of work processes is eliminating certain jobs.
· Climate issues impact the economy - we haven’t even begun to count the toll of the Australian fires on the NZ economy.
· 2020 Elections – in election year many businesses freeze recruitment until the new government and their plans are clarified.
· Another minimum wage increase on the 1stApril 2020 may lead to downsizing or recruitment freezes to recoup the increased costs in payroll.
There are many other factors on a personal, commercial, regional and global scale that impact the job market. Although many businesses will have an eye on the distant future, they will be mainly focussed on 2020 and the new decade ahead. There is a lot to consider in our continually changing New Zealand business arena.
During these hot summer months it is full throttle for industries such as construction, retail, hospitality and tourism. However, in other areas it remains quiet until mid-February with holiday makers still enjoying the beautiful late summer. Decision makers may still be on holiday or they could be back catching up on work whilst looking wistfully at the sun beating down outside. At 4-5pm the workplace is often deserted as everyone heads out to the summer evenings. You may hear comments like ‘Is it Friday yet?’ and ‘Isn’t this week taking ages’ with an air of glumness pervading the office. Regardless of the industry more jobs are advertised in January and you can guarantee a lot of people will be scanning the job boards during their holiday or back to work blues.
Setting aside January which is obviously one of the busiest times in recruitment, when is the best time to advertise or apply for jobs? A lot of research and data crunching has been undertaken (predominantly for the northern hemisphere) but it does raise some salient points. The new financial year is a natural conclusion for many businesses wrapping up projects and budgets. There is definitely a summer slump in New Zealand, but the main advice for job searchers is not to wait.
Recruitment for businesses shouldn’t be based on seasonal variations due to talent shortage - the most successful recruitment process is to continuously pool talent that applies directly to the company and regularly approach passive candidates. Many in-demand candidates rarely search for new jobs therefore companies need to proactively approach them with appealing packages.
Here are the facts about the best days/times to advertise and apply for jobs. Cliff notes version – advertise early in the week with the expectation of receiving around 60% of your applications in the first week. If you’re applying for a job submit your application late morning on Tuesday during the first week of advertising. Hopefully this information helps you to beat the strong competition out there!
Make the most of the January surge of candidates and advertise with QJumpers now – we can even manage the screening and selection process if you’re still on holiday but desperately need a new employee asap.
Alternatively jump ahead of the other candidates by registering your search details with QJumpers so that we (and all our clients) can pull through your information when we’re looking for candidates.