Seasonal Trends Show How Hiring Happens on the Calendar


A new year doesn’t necessarily mean new hires — at least not right away. As the job market peaks and declines dynamically over the course of the year, it’s important for job board owners to understand how and where hiring and quitting patterns intersect. If you want to learn how these cycles affect your enterprise and how you can “ride the wave” more effectively, read on.

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When Employers Hire

Bloomberg has released some compelling findings on the seasonal nature of job opening and employee quitting behaviors across all industries and professions. Let’s start with the job openings. This series of charts reveals that for the past several years, the overall labor market starts to contract in December before dropping off the proverbial cliff in January; there’s also a notable contraction in July. Other months of the year show positive growth,especially October, April and May. April leads the year in new job postings, which times perfectly with college graduations and a fresh influx of candidates.

When Employees Quit

Bloomberg’s charts also indicate that summertime is quitting time for many employees looking for other opportunities. There’s an upward rise in total job separations from May through August, with the number of quits tracking consistently with the overall separation trend. As the low 5 percent national unemployment rate bolsters workers’ confidence, they may be bolder than ever about seeking greener pastures. This means more job openings as well as more job seekers, so you should expect plenty of activity swirling around your job board site during these months.

Customizing Your Approach

You may have noticed one particular problem with the numbers quoted above — they’re an aggregate of all industries and professions, making no allowances for deviations by sector. For instance, the retail sector typically enjoys a much more dramatic hiring peak in November, which makes perfect sense in light of the mad consumer rush that accompanies the holiday season. (It then collapses just as logically in January, after temporary seasonal workers have fulfilled their duties.) But to really use seasonal hiring and vacancy data as effectively as possible, you have to get even more granular, and that means performing your own research.

How do you go about understanding the seasonal hiring practices of specific clients? well, you could always contact them and ask them about their seasonal hiring trends and future plans, taking care to add this valuable information to your client database. Do this with enough clients, and you’ll start to see patterns among particular verticals, locations, business sizes et cetera. You can even automate this process somewhat by assigning Google alerts to clients’ actions. Every time they make an online hiring announcement, for instance, you’ll hear about it.

Once you can see precisely how your clients’ hiring needs are rising and falling from season to season, you can customize your outbound marketing strategies to tickle each of them when the time is exactly right. It’s a smart way for your job board site to use job market trends instead of being ruled by them.

How can recruiters, job boards and employers use seasonal trends in job advertising strategies?

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