jumping in the lake

How to Effectively Recruit During the Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

In years past, when it came to recruiting, most organizations simply didn’t hire in the summer. Traditionally, companies sought out new talent a couple of times a year. January through March were popular recruiting periods as a new year and new budgets were in place. During September through November people were coming off holiday. Today, recruiting is no longer limited to certain times of year because there are so many different mentalities about when the “right” time to hire actually is, and so many new channels through which hiring can be done.

Nevertheless, recruiting during the warm months can be a bit tricky. Candidates and hiring managers may have family commitments and obligations that need to be taken into consideration. The good news is, talent can be found any time of year. Here are 4 ways to get the most out of summertime recruiting.

Lengthen the Posting Process

In the past, if you were posting a job externally, you might have put it up for a week or two and been able to get plenty of great candidates. But for summer recruitment, you may have to put the same posting up well in advance and leave it up for 3 or 4 weeks longer to get the same candidates to see it and apply. If you want to hire someone to start in August, for instance, you’ll have to put the post up a couple months in advance and leave it up longer than 2 weeks. Keep in mind, really great talent might be away on vacation during your “magical” 14 day window.

Be Flexible With the Screening Process

Be prepared also to spend more time screening candidates in the summer. People (at least in Canada) tend to vacation when the weather is warm and you may need to be creative. How about using Skype to interview a candidate from a cottage on the lake? While hiring managers can do the bulk of interviewing, having that kind of flexibility during both the initial screen and the full interview on both sides (candidates and hiring manager) is essential. It’s not just flexibility in terms of vacations, but also with notice for scheduling interviews. For example, if Sue is home with her kids during the summer, she may not be able to come in to interview this week and may need a little more time to make appropriate accommodations or she can maybe interview in the evening or “off” business hours. As a company, being flexible and recognizing a candidate’s priorities and obligations will help you secure better talent.

Have Consideration With Start Time

Traditionally, accepting a new position often meant giving a two week notice. However, during the summer months, the notice period can often be extended quite a bit. A boss or a manager might be away on vacation and a new hire needs to wait until he or she returns. In addition, once they do start, there may have to be considerations made if they are relocating and can’t move the family out at the same time due to prior commitments and summer time activities. Lastly, the onboarding process often needs to be adjusted as trainers and key staff may be absent on holiday themselves.

Reach Great Candidates At the Right Time

In general, the summer recruiting process often takes longer than it would during other times of the year. This is not always the case, however, and recruiting in off times can result in some great candidates that are ready to move and start immediately. The benefit to summer recruiting is that you have the unique opportunity to “reach” people when they are spending their holidays evaluating their priorities. Start the recruiting process in the summer and give great candidates time to see how as a company, you are flexible and supportive of family obligations and willing to make accommodations for what’s important to them. Show them how you are truly a great match for what they deem most important, and your search for a great candidate can come to a successful end.

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