Do Job Searches and Applications Decline During the Holiday Season? (Part 1 of 3)

12 12 2012

Some recruiters and organizations report a decrease in applications per opening during December. While hiring generally increases during the Holiday season, it is believed that it can be harder to find qualified applicants. Hiring does indeed increase during December from holiday travel, shopping and shipping related purchasing. I wonder if job searching by applicants also declines during this time. I assume that employers on average receive fewer job applications per position during the holiday season due to either the decreased supply of available workers or lower demand for employment (workers not actively searching and applying as much as normal) or a combination of the two.

The anecdotal and empirical information on this can be conflicting. On one hand hiring does seem to increase  during the Holiday season.  However in my experience many businesses receive fewer applications on average per position during the Holiday season.  I assume that job applicants both active, and passive spend less time applying during the Holiday season and thereby apply to fewer positions total than during other parts of the year. For this project I surveyed a large network of recruiters, hiring managers and job applicants to compare empirical and anecdotal evidence. My findings confirmed most of what I’d already thought about hiring in December. However some of the feedback was very industry specific. A Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) Analyst for an Oregon university reported a reduced number of applications for positions in December, with even fewer of them being qualified or not returning calls for interviews. Job application support service providers say that it is also harder to find open positions this time of year with hiring teams out of the office or not posting new positions. Another recruiter indicated that they receive nearly half the number of applications during December for the same positions posted during the summer. Most importunity it was mentioned that highly qualified applicants often do not seek new positions in December. While some hiring managers think these theories of reduced applications are a myth.

There is potential for confusion here between the ideas that there is a smaller pool of candidates in December because of increased hiring or because of decreased interest in  new jobs. “Do people with current jobs search less during the holiday season, and do unemployed do the same?” is the fundamental question I will investigate  in the next two parts of this series.

Part 2 of this series will cover the data is used to examine this idea. I plan oi examining trends from internet search data and government employment statistics. Part 3 will be my final analysis and evaluation.

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3 responses

22 01 2013
Do Job Searches and Applications Decline During the Holiday Season? (Part 2 of 3) « Enriconomics

[…] discussed in my earlier post, some recruiters and organizations claim a decrease in applications per opening during December. […]

1 03 2013
Do Job Searches and Applications Decline During the Holiday Season? (Part 3 of 3) | Enriconomics

[…] final post of this series documents my conclusion and analysis of the available data described in Part 1 and Part 2. As reported in my earlier post, some recruiters and organizations claim a decrease in […]

21 06 2014
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