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Keeping Your IT Job Search Active Through the Holidays

There is a common misconception amongst job seekers in the IT industry that companies aren’t interested in hiring candidates this late in the year. Contrary to popular belief, hiring managers are generally more focused on filling specific roles before the end of the year in order to meet certain business objectives. Although the months of November and December may seem slow from a business perspective, job seekers should remain proactive in applying to open positions.

“If you’re an IT professional in today’s highly competitive job market, don’t delay your job search until the new year like most job seekers tend to,” warns Michael Manganelli, Senior Technical Recruiter at ES Technology, a division of The Execu|Search Group. “Over the years I’ve seen numerous IT professionals miss out on great job opportunities because they practiced the same approach as other job seekers during the holiday season.” In general, hiring managers are motivated to hire qualified IT candidates by years’ end to address three key aspects of their hiring outlook:

  1. Accomplishing 2015 hiring goals

While it may be true that most employers are looking ahead to hiring in 2016, they are just as much focused on hiring the right talent in 2015 to end the year on a strong note. “Typically, hiring managers have a certain number of open roles they should fill by the years’ end, and if they don’t, they not only lose out on talent, but they also fall short of meeting departmental goals,” says Michael. “If you feel that most job seekers aren’t starting their job search until 2016, increase your odds of landing the job now by taking advantage of less competition in the market.” In other words, if the Desktop Support role you’re interested in goes unfilled by the end of the year, there’s no guarantee a hiring manager will have the same headcount requirement to hire for the same role in 2016.

  1. Year-end budget

Along the same lines of headcount, hiring managers also have an allotted budget for hiring new staff throughout the year. If they are unable to use the budget to fill certain IT role(s), they will lose the allotted funds altogether. “As a prospective candidate, you should understand that hiring managers never want to lose out on money in their hiring budget, and will go to great lengths to ensure they find the most qualified candidates towards the end of the year,” highlights Michael. For example, since year-end bonuses are a common reason job seekers tend to wait until the new year to start their job searches, hiring managers are more open to negotiating compensation packages in the form of sign-on bonuses or year-end bonuses to attract top talent.

“As the technological landscape continues to evolve, what’s in demand now might not be relevant in 2016, so don’t delay your job search,” says Michael. Since there is no guarantee the role you’re interested in 2015 will be factored into a company’s 2016 hiring budget, waiting until next year may unnecessarily extend your job search—hurting you in the long-run.

  1. Projects to kick off in Q1 2016

Lastly, a new year brings new projects and objectives for a hiring manager and their team to accomplish. On top of this, training new employees during this time can prove to be time-consuming and counterproductive if new staff cannot get a handle on their role fast enough. “To combat a potential lack of productivity in the new year, hiring managers will prefer to stay ahead of the curve by hiring strong candidates before the year ends,” says Michael. Hiring managers will typically aim to hire a candidate at the end of the year in order to have them fully trained and up to speed so that once the new year comes around, they will be in a better position to hit the ground running on any major projects.

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