Myth of the Merry Slow Down Victoria Butt Across two countries, four industries and over 11 years, I have seen the recruitment market consistently buoyant between the months of October and December. Why does everyone think it will slow down? I have closed placements on Christmas Eve with a glass of bubbles in my hand and a very happy camper on the other end of the phone, I have closed placements the week before Christmas and I have even closed placements the day before the Christmas closing party! I see it every year, the hiring market seems to ramp up before Christmas, not down! The biggest question is where does this perception come from? So why do people feel that after Melbourne cup, the weather heats u p and the silly season starts that everyone is on the wind down? Why do applications via career websites drop by 30%? Why do professionals decide that October/November is too late to look for a role and hold out until after Christmas? For most of my clients, they are definitely not in wind down mode; in fact, this time is a critical point in the race to recruit the right team member and here are a few of the reasons why; 1 Psychological Hiring managers want all their ducks in a row before Christmas so they can start fresh next year with a full team. Hiring managers like their new starters to be part of the festive season, as it's a great opportunity for them to meet stakeholders and integrate within the wider team. 2 Sign-off challenge Taking leave in January seems to be imbedded into the culture of Christmas in Australia! School holidays in general can slow business decisions, however in the month of January, hiring decisions virtually halt! In these economic times, 2-3 additional signatures are required by senior management before an offer is made. Thus sign-off is far easier when executives and senior management are in the office! 3 Soft and hard deadlines The turn of the New Year seems to represent project, budget, team and business unit deadlines etc. It is often used to get products launched, websites changed and promotions/ campaigns ready. 'Staffing up' to deliver these projects can be a short/mid or long term hire. Hiring managers get creative with their capex budget and short term staff can also be kept through to financial year end and onwards. I'd encourage applicants who are looking to secure a new role to go hard until 24th December as this is when hiring is at its peak! After this point, enjoy the next 2 months off as the recruitment market is awakening later and later in these new economic times.