IT Pros: Think No One’s Hiring Right Now? Think Again.

The assumption of job seekers around this time of year is that because of holidays and end-of-the-year deadlines, employers are devoting very little time to hiring.  However, for IT professionals especially, this tends to be a fallacy.  “The myth that no one hires after Thanksgiving causes a lot of job seekers to give up until January,” says Jed Pillion, a Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Information Technology division.  “However, we often see employers hiring aggressively in December as they try to accomplish their goals by the end of the year.”

Jed notes that the field does not have the same ebb and flow in hiring as an industry with more predictable needs.  “Regardless of the position within the technology field, the need for these professionals does not go away in the fourth quarter,” he says.  “Technology is always in need of updates and maintenance, and the holidays are no exception to that.”

This hiring that occurs toward the end of the year, however, is notably different from the hiring that may take place throughout the rest of the year.  “During the fourth quarter, employers may be filling a position for a different reason, and they most likely want their new hire in place by January 1st,” explains Jed.  “This could be because of a year-end budget, or it could be because of a project that is starting in the new year.”  However, once the holiday season has passed, employers will typically take more time as there is often a new flood of candidates and a new budget to work with.  Because hiring at the end of the year is so fast-paced, Jed recommends being more active in your job search with these tips:

Keep your availability open

While employers may be ready to hire, there are a limited number of available days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  As a result, the interviewer may not be as flexible as they normally are.  “This means that you should do your best to keep your schedule open,” says Jed.  “Be sure that you are ready to change your plans at a moment’s notice, because there is less time to find an agreeable date.  If you are not flexible with your plans, the employer may move onto another candidate.”

Be more responsive

Along the same lines, you also need to respond quickly to any opportunity or question regarding an application.  “When employers are hiring with a firm deadline, they will be looking for the candidate who best understands this and can respond with that in mind,” notes Jed.  “If you take too long to respond to an email or phone call, they will simply move onto the next available person, as they don’t always have the time to wait.”

Stay prepared

When preparing any supplementary materials, Jed advises job seekers to be prepared to send them as soon as they are requested.  “For copies of your resume or your portfolio, you may be asked to provide them at any time,” says Jed.  “As a result, you should always have these on hand so that there is no delay in getting them to an employer.”  Additionally, Jed suggests that you have all of your references and identification materials ready to go as well.

Utilize a recruiter

When an employer has a limited time to fill a position, a recruiter who has talented candidates readily available is a resource they like to utilize.  “Subsequently, partnering with a recruiter may allow you more opportunities to get hired before the new year,” says Jed.  “A recruiter will be able to submit you for more positions during this tight window of time.  In this sense, they can help expedite the whole hiring process to help you achieve your goal of starting a new job by the end of the year.”