The Trials & Tribulations of Summer Hiring (or Job Hunting)

The Dog Days of Summer

For both recruiters and candidates I would say that summer in North America is the most difficult time to be conducting a job search – and particularly to be actively considered for a job. The reason is probably fairly obvious. While Christmas, Easter and Spring Break have short windows of time during which people can be away, “summer” holidays can be very broadly defined. For some people in an organization, they might begin taking 1-2 weeks off  as early as May or June while others might not go away until August or September and of course any time in between.

The challenge lies in the fact that most hiring of IT positions is not done exclusively by one person. I have seen organizations who have one-step process when, for example, it is a short-term contract position that is in high demand or in rare cases a permanent role that is desperately required. These scenarios, particularly in the Vancouver marketplace, are exceedingly rare. In most cases, hiring is a three, four or five step process? Along with those steps comes the requirement to meet a variety of different people in the organization and on the specific team that is being hired for.

A Long Process Gets Longer

The hiring process is long enough already when people are in town. However, even the typical 6-8 week hiring process can drag well into three months and beyond when people are away and out of town. This is frustrating for candidates and can lead them to either turn down the role or engender bad feelings about the organization after they are told they didn’t get the job. Imagine that the candidate then goes on to tell all who will listen about his negative experience. This can result in a PR nightmare and deter qualified candidates from applying for roles well into the future. You don’t want that.

Some Solutions For Clients & Candidates

There are several ways that the above scenario can be avoided. An organization that is hiring can ensure that the candidate is kept apprised of any delays. The simple courtesy of communicating with the candidate can keep them onside and happy. A candidate that is involved in a protracted interview process can also take on communicating and asking questions about where things stand, what the steps are and when the organization intends to make a final decision. A professional recruiting firm will often play this role and act as a kind of project manager to ensure that things run smoothly for the benefit of both the candidate and the client.

The Bottom Line

Summer, and really anytime, can be challenging when it comes to hiring people if the process isn’t managed properly. Both the organization and the candidate need to do their parts to ensure that decisions are made in a timely manner, that people who need to be involved are available and that next steps and any delays are quickly communicated. This will ensure that, even during the summer, companies find productive employees and candidates get great new jobs.

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