Recruiting through the holidays: why and how

Dec 16, 2019 - Cat DiStasio

Are you looking forward to your holiday break?

For you, the winter holidays might represent relaxation and recharging. But for job seekers, it can be prime job hunting season. While you’re busy catching up with family and pigging out on holiday cookies, many job seekers will be devoting time to searching for their next gig. This goes for active and passive job seekers alike. There’s no better time to reflect on that job you hate and start looking for a new one than while you’re on a paid vacation, after all. 

This is precisely why recruiters can’t press pause on talent acquisition efforts during the holidays. Sure, you can still close your office and take off on vacation, but before you turn on your out-of-office message, take a quick look at your conversational recruiting strategy and add a section that outlines recruiting over the winter holidays.

Here’s a deeper look at why your team needs to keep recruiting throughout the holiday season, and how to use smart tools to keep job seekers company until your human recruiters are back at the helm. 

Know your candidate personas

You may be checked out of work during the holiday season, but job seekers tend to look for jobs when they aren’t at work. Job hunting can be time-consuming so it stands to reason people would take advantage of all that free time. They’re actually encouraged to do so, too, by most major sources of job hunting advice. 

Half of people employed in America are actively looking for a new job, on top of the approximately 6 million unemployed people already searching. What’s more, record numbers of people are traveling during the holiday season. As you think about the need for recruiting through the holidays, keep this in mind. You already know what your candidates want in their next position and what they expect from the recruiting process. Expand your candidate personas to include this behavioral information as well.  

Your recruiting chatbot can be your holiday recruiter

The best way to continue recruiting while you’re on vacation is with a recruiting chatbot. Your always-on AI-powered partner is available to job seekers when your human staff is partying with their friends and family. A recruiting chatbot or FAQbot gives job seekers a way to find answers fast, and helps you collect contact information so you can follow up once you’re back in the office. 

SSM Health discovered this benefit last year. They installed an FAQbot before the holidays and upon returning, they found engagement was higher over the holidays than it normally was. While their staff was taking a break, the FAQbot engaged in thousands of conversations with job seekers. If they hadn’t had the chatbot in place, that would have been thousands of missed opportunities.

Automated emails and text messaging fill in the gaps

Whether your office is closed completely or you’re just short staffed due to vacations, automated tools help you maintain communication with job seekers while alleviating stress for your human team. Based on your candidates’ preferences and, of course, their permission, choose the appropriate tools and plan communications in advance. Using planned sequencing allows you to set up automated communications with job seekers to attract their attention throughout the winter holidays. In your communications, let job seekers know when and how you’ll follow up and then make sure you actually do it. 

Happy holidays, happy hiring

The winter holidays are fast approaching. You might be thinking about your holiday shopping list and travel plans, but job seekers are also daydreaming about where they might be a year from now. Spending just a little time thinking about your candidate personas and creating a recruiting plan for the holiday season can pay off big in the new year, for you and for those job seekers. You can continue to attract and engage with job seekers while you’re enjoying a relaxing vacation, and then return, recharged and refreshed, with loads of candidates to engage with. Talk about a happy new year!

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