The end of year is a time for gratitude and reflection before holiday celebrations give way to the New Year and forward thinking. The same holds true for many companies, which is exactly why you shouldn’t wait for the New Year to refocus your hiring efforts, especially important in today’s tight labor market.
Here are the three reasons why your 2017 hiring program for 2017 should start now.
1. Hiring outlooks are positive but a hiring boom may be on the horizon
According to the 2016 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, employers in all U.S. industry sectors have reported positive hiring expectations for Q1 2017. The industries with the strongest seasonally adjusted employment outlooks are:
- Leisure and hospitality +30%
- Wholesale and retail trade + 22%
- Transportation and utilities + 20%
- Professional and business services + 17%
As optimistic as U.S. employers are, they have been waiting to begin aggressive hiring programs. The rate of hiring for Q4 2016 is unchanged from Q4 2015, which means a surge in new job postings at the start of 2017 may be likely. Getting ahead of this curve can help you avoid a frantic competition for the best job candidates.
2. New hires should be onboard and performing at full speed in January
The end of the year is one of the easier times for many businesses to integrate, train, and onboard new employees. January is markedly more hectic with managers tied up in budget planning, new product releases, sales kickoffs, and customer meetings.
When new hires are brought in at the busiest times of the year, they have lower job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and performance levels. In fact, an Interactive Services report has concluded that a well-executed onboarding process results in 54 percent greater new hire productivity and 50 percent greater new hire retention.
3. An early lead in hiring is a lasting advantage
In the New York Marathon, it’s rare to see a runner start in the middle of the pack and run a competitive race. There are simply too many disadvantages to overcome, each compounding the next. Business is no different. Waiting to hire leads to lower quality employees (top hires get hired first), less time to train them, a weaker overall team, and poorer group performance throughout the year.
HR professionals are quick to say that hiring isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. True, but hiring in December and January places your company squarely at the head of the pack in the race to land the best available talent.