Those Down Hiring Cycles Are a Great Time to Recruit


This article was originally published in August of 2020. Relevant information and statistics have been updated as of September 2022.

As the saying goes, “to everything, there is a season,” and that includes hiring. Anyone who’s ever looked for a job at the end of the year knows just how slowly things move. To a lesser extent, the same is true during the dog days of summer. 

It’s also true that more hiring occurs during the first half of the year than it does after June. 

The reasons for these hiring cycles are no mystery. With the new year comes new budgets. Managers who left jobs unfilled to improve their year-end numbers now rush to fill them. Spring sees another hiring jump as companies bring on college graduates.

What Is A Hiring Cycle Slowdown?

As we move into July and August, recruiters and hiring managers often go on vacation. The pace of work in the summer naturally slows. Then, as September nears and CFOs begin their fourth quarter and full-year projections, more than a few companies will curtail hiring to help the bottom line.

Finally, there’s a pick-up in October as retailers and logistics firms bring on hundreds of thousands of seasonal workers to handle the holiday rush.

Recruiters should be aware of the nature of hiring down seasons and familiarize themselves with what candidates are seeking. See more insider tips for hiring in the down season in @Visage_Jobs blog: Click To Tweet

Recruiters who understand this seasonality can use it to their advantage. The competition for the best talent slackens when everyone else is on vacation or thinking of backyard barbecues. With the slower pace of summer and around the holidays, candidates are more available and often easier to reach. They’re also not hearing from other recruiters, yet, workers are still changing jobs.

Why These Times Are Advantageous

The message here is that the down hiring cycles are a smart time to recruit. It’s important, though, to be prepared. More workers will typically quit their job in August than in any other month. That’s a signal to begin filling your pipeline in July. 

The same is true at the end of the year. That’s when the fewest companies are hiring. It’s also when fewer people are looking. All of which makes it a great time to reach out to candidates. And especially to passive candidates, who may just be thinking of making “find a new job” one of their New Year’s resolutions.

    • Companies have to make money-saving decisions. This means laying employees off and restructuring internally. These tough choices can put unexpecting talent back into the job search.
    • Talent is looking for something new/different. After being let go, candidates often seek new experiences as they embark on their newest job search. Likely, they feel okay to branch out from previous industries that they might no longer have an interest in. 
    • It keeps your team motivated and engaged. A tumultuous hiring cycle is stressful for most parties involved. Your team, however, needs to be operating at full capacity. This necessary focus will engage your hiring team and allow them
    • Allows for you to reflect on your current process and tighten any loose ends. While a slower hiring cycle can be frustrating, it also provides a built-in opportunity for you and your team to audit your current hiring process and optimize the experience.

How To Succeed At Hiring In The Off-Season

To grab attention from top talent in a down hiring cycle and end up securing them, your recruiting team needs to review their processes internally and externally. Recruiters should ensure that the open roles they’re promoting have clear expectations and outlined responsibilities. The clarity here will help ease any potential questions from candidates and help promote a culture of transparency. 

To grab attention from top talent in a down hiring cycle and end up securing them, your recruiting team needs to review their processes internally and externally. Find out more tips for hiring in the “off-season” in the blog from @Visage_Jobs: Click To Tweet

Staying in the same vein of a transparent culture, ensure all messaging sent on behalf of the organization reflects its mission and core values. In a down hiring cycle, candidates (passive or not) want to get to the brass tacks of what a company stands for before they pursue the idea of working for them. 

Finally, recruiters should be aware of the nature of these down seasons and familiarize themselves with what candidates are seeking. This means reaching out to people who may have experience in different industries or positioning the requirements of open roles to include a wider target group.

How Visage Can Help

Visage can make your “off-cycle” recruiting an overnight success. Within mere hours of posting your job needs to our platform, a team of specialized sourcers will begin delivering candidates perfectly matched to your needs by our patented AI process.

We can help you fill almost any job in any industry. And your silver and bronze finalists become part of your talent pipeline, ready for you when the next opening comes up.

So, don’t do as the herd does. Work with our Visage sourcing team to leverage down hiring cycles and beat your competition to great talent.