Answer: While most hiring managers think their timetable to complete a search is unique, it is subject to the realities of when decision-makers have time to complete the process and extend an offer. There really is a cycle. As we follow the hiring process through the year, here is another blog post about activities during the Secondary Hiring cycle that starts in May and June with breaks over the summer months and ends in September — along with a list of events that affect scheduling of hiring activities.
CALENDAR – May & September.
EVENTS – May and June include Memorial Day Weekend at the end of May, the informal start of summer and vacations and High School and College graduations.
JULY includes July 4th. If it occurs midweek, the entire week is a holiday; otherwise either several days before or after the date are vacation days.
Personal vacations occur throughout the summer months and generally AUGUST is when recruiting efforts slow or pause as senior officers schedule vacations before Labor Day.
SEPTEMBER includes Labor Day Weekend.
As jobs that became available early in the year are filled, a new round of vacancies occurs. Hiring for senior positions continues in the spring. The pace to make these secondary hires is affected by how quickly the leadership team acts to define the position and determine if a search firm should be retained or if the HR staff will handle the project.
Hiring during this season is competitive as new searches occur while vacancies remain to be filled from earlier cycles. In this round, the vacancy may be for a Senior Director, one level below the VP. In addition, there is the normal churn of Director and Senior Director vacancies. Hiring excellent candidates becomes extremely competitive and challenging. Searching for candidates may begin in late May or June with first round interviews beginning late in June. In this case the number of first round candidates may be no more than five, eliminating one screening round.
Completing first round interviews can wrap up in mid-July as the July 4th holiday slows down the schedule. It will take careful planning to arrange the next round of interviews hopefully reduced to 3 semi-finalists through July and early August. This is the best-case scenario. Candidates as well as the hiring team, take family vacations and finding dates becomes challenging. If the goal is to present only one or two finalists to the most senior hiring officer, that will be scheduled after the three candidates are interviewed by the hiring officer’s direct reports. It is most likely the finalist(s) will be invited to interview in September when the hiring officer is available.
Assuming there are no delays in the recruiting schedule and the finalist(s) are suitable, an offer can be extended, negotiated and finalized in a written offer letter. That would be Mid-September with a start date in mid-October. This is a fast track search with no complications. Delays are, for example, the need for more research, candidates withdrawing, scheduling conflicts due possibly to executive travel, trade shows and changes within the hiring organization that impact the search.