Since 1981, in my experience as an EXPERT Recruiter, searching for new Talented candidates demonstrated one constant year in and year out during Great Economies and Poor Economies. Searching for a new career in November and December is the Best Time to find new opportunities!

Isn’t That Counter-Intuitive?

In the 1980s and early 1990s, my business was a headhunter model where I introduced top talent to my clients and then was paid 30% of the first year’s compensation of my candidate when they started their new job. Obviously, trends caught my attention!

Early on, I noticed an important trend. The result of my recruiting in November and December delivered the following result. December and January were my 2 Best Months in fee income. I was putting the same amount of effort into sourcing and setting interviews. My income was higher!

Why Is November/December The Best Time to Search?

After several years of experiencing this trend, I decided it was not a one time fluke. It was time to analyze the reasons I earned more money during this period.  These reasons hold true today:

  1. Most mediocre candidates feel it is a waste of time to search during the Holidays for a new position because the managers were not interviewing – this is called “Common Wisdom.” What is common about Common Wisdom?  Rarely is it Wisdom.
  2. Most mediocre recruiters take from Thanksgiving to the end of the year “off” for the same Common Wisdom.
  3. How do these practices benefit you?  Now the majority of ordinary candidates and ordinary recruiters are napping – well not really but they are each only putting in the time.
  4. You have a clear road ahead of you because the managers are receiving fewer resumes of people who are not qualified – I call it “Resume Weary.”
  5. By mid-November, most companies with a calendar fiscal year have their budget set – and know what positions open in January. Companies with Federal contracts are in their first quarter and are up to speed recruiting (but their recruiters fall victim to Common Wisdom).
  6. Top Managers use this time to search for Top Talent to interview and offer in late November and early December. Typically, they give the first Monday in January as the start date (new budget year).
  7. The major benefit to Top Managers is they can begin the new year running with new additions to their team, instead of wading through hundreds of unqualified resumes to begin recruiting.
  8. People are “warmer and fuzzier” during the Holidays – and are more open to speaking with friends and former acquaintances. This year, with all of our travails, probably even more so!

Do You Have Stories To Prove Your Theory?

I will give you a story from 1987 and a story from December 2019 to prove this is true.

My client was COMSAT Labs in Germantown, MD. They were one of my best clients. I was so on target with their needs that I only introduced one person to the Data Center Manager for each open position – And they hired them!

In early December 1987, I received a call from the Data Center Manager that they were opening a position for a CICS (you older IT professionals remember CICS!) Systems Programmer.

As was my practice in those years (that continues today), I heavily sourced top talent each month. Then presented the Top Talent to my clients.  

When you work hard, timing pays off!  During Thanksgiving week, I networked my way to Patti in Baltimore. She was not happy in her current position. We built a relationship where I guaranteed her I would not forward her resume anywhere before running the company and position past her. The result of our conversation was the targeted knowledge of her desired position and company.

When I received the call from COMSAT Labs Data Center Manager, I told Sam that I knew EXACTLY who he needed to interview. Since my practice was (and still is) to phone interview every candidate, it took a week to phone interview Patti. Initially, she was a little reticent about interviewing and potentially moving to Germantown, MD.

Sam and I spoke. Since Patti was taking Christmas Eve off, and driving to southern Virginia to visit family, we would propose to interview Patti on Christmas Eve morning. Patti could drive past COMSAT Labs on the way to Virginia. She agreed and her interview was set.

Sam called me shortly after 1 PM on Christmas Eve. He said that he and his managers were So Impressed with Patti that they invited her to their informal potluck lunch so she would not have to stop a second time during her drive. Over lunch, she met the staff while Sam and his Managers discussed Patti’s skills and her fit with their team. After lunch, Sam asked Patti to stop by his office – where he extended an offer to her. She drove to Virginia with a Christmas present!

On Christmas night, Patti called me. She said, “I have a Christmas present for you! I decided to accept the COMSAT Labs offer!  I will turn in my notice tomorrow and start the 2nd week of January. Please call Sam tomorrow!”

You may be saying, “Sure. That happened over a generation ago. Do you have any recent examples?”

Last December, two enterprise-level sales professional candidates for two Vice Presidents interviewed in early December. They accepted offers in mid-December – and both requested Christmas week start dates for benefit and bonus reasons. The early start gave them a head start on 2020 sales production for bonus reasons (you can tell they were Great Sales Professionals with that reasoning!).

Any questions? Now is the time of year to truly focus on your search!  Last year, six professionals I coached accepted offers during December.

Take charge of your career search! Do not allow Artificial Intelligence in company Applicant Tracking Systems and Job Boards to determine your qualifications!  Find people in your personal or professional community to introduce you. Oh, this is called networking!

Networking is the best practice to find a new career!  I wrote my books to duplicate my efforts to assist you in your search. My expert experience as both a Recruiter and Career Coach gives me a perspective few professionals have. My Salary Negotiation script solves that pain point for most job seekers. To accelerate your #Jobsearch, please immediately click on this link to my recent book, Employee 5.0: Secrets Of A Successful Job Search In The New World Order  My book contains the 12 Steps to find a new position in a nice, orderly fashion that follows your sales process.  According to a newspaper review, “It is refreshing to find an author who speaks With you and not At you!” It also has the stories of people who did well – and some who did not. You may learn from both sides.

My Talent Attraction business model is to work with one company at a time and charge a flat monthly fee.  This enables me to become part of a company’s team for short or long periods.  Therefore, I know what is going on behind the curtain that candidates and authors outside of my field cannot see.

I am here to help you further each week.  Feel free to click on Follow US and Share at the bottom of our blog.

See you on Fridays!

Coming Soon, my third book on Finding A JobExpect Success!  The Art Of The Over 50 Job Search!

Bill Humbert is available for Speaking, Talent Attraction Consulting, Career Transition Consulting, and Training contracts.  435-714-4425

©1999-2020 B. Humbert – Provocative Thinking Consulting, Inc. –

USA 01-435-714-4425

Content is licensed CC-BY-ND (Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives 4.0) The right to reprint is hereby granted if the copyright notice and contact information remain with the article.

Leave a Comment