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8 Steps for Surviving a Busy Hiring Season Every Year

Q4 is a demanding hiring season, and not just for companies that need extra help for the holidays. As year-end looms, many TA teams are up against deadlines as organizations open new locations or add new functions that satisfy business objectives. Unfortunately, fall hiring can be even more challenging than usual. Annual bonuses, vesting requirements, and the general busyness of the holidays all keep many candidates from changing jobs.

Here are eight steps you can take for a more successful, less frenzied Q4 hiring season in your organization this year.

  1. Know What You're Looking For. Take time up front to get a deep understanding of your hiring manager’s requirements for the position. He or she may feel an extra conversation is unnecessary, but stand firm. The additional information you uncover now will help you zero in on the right candidates faster and reduce delays later in the process.
  2. Involve the Team Early. Define the decision-making team for a specific role, and get their input and buy-in early to prevent surprises down the road. Emphasize ways you plan to help them focus on candidate quality.
  3. Count Backwards to Build Your Timeline. When do you want to have everyone onboard? Fully trained? Build your hiring timeline goals by counting backwards from this date to determine when you should start sourcing and screening. Be sure to account for new hires needing to give a two week notice, for job specific interview steps, etc. Share your timeline with key decision makers so they can see why they need to do their part to keep the hiring process moving along. Sharing your timeline can be an effective technique for countering pressures to hire faster, too.
  4. Communicate the Workflow. Some positions may require new hiring teams and highly tailored workflows. As soon as those are defined, communicate so all decision-makers understand who will review screening information and candidate profiles, and who will handle first and final interviews. If you have a voice and video interviewing platform, make sure all team members understand how you’ll use it to expedite feedback and facilitate collaborative decision-making.
  5. Set Yourself Up For Next Year. If you’re hiring for a temporary but annual need, keep an eye on those who excel in the role. Start to build a pool for those who may only want seasonal employment. Consider offering high-performing employees an incentive to return each season. An incentive could be as small as a return-bonus or a slightly higher salary. Securing these employees early in your process not only meets the demand faster – it also reduces the time and resources your team needs to spend on this requisition.
  6. Think Beyond Current Hiring Demand. With Q4 hiring the focus is on immediate hiring, but if you know now about specific needs for early next year, keep those in mind as you source and screen your talent pool. Some candidates may be a better fit for those positions. And, think about candidates for current short-term positions who could transition into open positions next year. Potential opportunities for a foot in the door and a long-term hire could be the selling point you need to secure your organization’s Q4 talent.
  7. Quality vs. Quantity. Sometimes it can be tempting to compromise quality in order to fill the high number of open positions. Word to the wise, don't settle on quality for quantity. When you hire someone who isn't the right fit, it turns out being more work in the long run.
  8. Think About Next Year Now. Once you’ve finished hiring for this year, take time to plan for next year while it’s still fresh in your mind. Which job descriptions need updating? Can you take steps to boost employee referrals for these positions?  Would starting your hiring process earlier next year help?

Follow these eight steps and you're sure to have a successful Q4 hiring season!

Senior HR Manager Lisa Wilke, PHR, SHRM-CP, works to find, select and engage the high-performing team members Modern Hire relies on to drive successful client partnerships worldwide. Her focus is on enabling talented individuals to develop to their full potential. Lisa brings more than 15 years of experience in human resources and recruitment to her role and her writing.