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Recruiting Season: Is There Such a Thing?

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I am currently suffering through a heat wave at my home in Manhattan, Kansas. But we come to expect and plan for this, as August is nearly always a very hot month in the sticks. However, what is not hot in the month of August is finding good recruits. Believe it or not, recruitment does have very hot and cold seasons, too. If you are looking to recruit talent for your planning firm, it would be helpful for you to know when your chances of finding that talent are higher and plan for it.

Traditionally it’s easier to find talent during certain periods of the year, fall and winter being two of them. If you know those periods in the year, then you can plan for it and have higher success rates in finding the talent you need. Today, I am just going to give you some insight on what we have learned to be true about recruitment seasons in the planning profession.

1. December through March are the hottest four months of the year to recruit top talent. This happens for several reasons but the main reason is that there are large classes of CFP-educated talent graduating in May seeking jobs. They start looking for those jobs in December, over their holiday breaks, and often get job offers and have accepted them prior to their Spring breaks.

2. Posting an announcement for a position opening is always good right before a major holiday (i.e. New Years, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Christmas.) Many people, especially those who have industry experience, spend much of their holiday breaks searching for new jobs. The same is true for college grads. Making an announcement about an opening right before those times helps increase your chances of getting better, more qualified applicants.

3. If you are looking to place part-time employment, such as an internship, then March through May are the best months. Often those seeking internships wait to the very last minute to find those positions. They begin looking during Spring break through Memorial Day.

4. June recruitments are often one of two things: They are people who are very serious and specific about what they want in a career and haven’t found it yet, or they are the left-over talent that no one else wanted. How do you figure out the difference between the two? Easy: Count the number of question they ask you. People who are serious often have lots of questions about the position, almost as though you are being overly interviewed. The others don’t have the passion for the industry and have an “anything will do” mentality. Therefore, they ask nearly no questions in the interview process at all.

5. Don’t be fooled by trying to recruit from a summer (August graduation date) and Fall (December gradation date) class of people. I get a lot of people asking me to help them recruit out of these classes. It’s nearly impossible. Summer and Fall graduates start looking for jobs at the same time as Spring graduates (December-March). The difference is they usually finish their schooling while on the job.

6. Full-time recruitment is the slowest in July, August, and September. Things don’t start to pick back up until the beginning of October or right before Halloween. Then it gears up for December, January, February, and March.


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