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 the time to complete the process and extend an offer. There really is a cycle. To be in step with that process and anticipate what you need to do to maintain, and even expedite the rhythm of the cycle, here is what to expect during the year. This is the first in a series of nine posts highlighting that cycle with specific suggestions about how to plan your job search.
The first caveat before looking at the calendar is to do your homework. Be over- prepared to make focused, specific decisions about what you are looking for. Be ready to weigh a new opportunity against your current position—especially evaluate the risk inherent in the opportunity. (See a variety of blog articles on the subject: http://www.jc-a.com/judith-cushman-blog/ and articles on “Compensation” and “Risk Factors in Considering an Offer”). Assuming you have done your homework, you are ready to step into the market.
When is the best time to start? There are two major recruiting cycles to take advantage of to launch job hunting campaigns. The first cycle starts in early January and the second starts during Labor Day week. In addition, there is a brief secondary hiring effort in late spring from vacancies caused by the hiring cycle started earlier in the New Year.
To make matters more complicated, during the late spring there are normally many other searches underway to fill Director and Senior Director jobs. Combine that with the additional vacancies generated by the hiring cycle that started right after the New Year and competition for “A” level candidates becomes intense. These professionals will most likely have several job offers to consider.
There is also a path leading to end of year hires. If an organization has been trying for several months to fill a senior role before the end of the year, they may try to manage holiday schedules for themselves and the finalists. This can mean the difference in extending an offer before Christmas, for example, or having to wait several weeks into the New Year.
In the next several weeks I will be sharing a series of posts that look at recruiting activities on a month by month basis. I will also indicate the holidays and events that affect the pace of the hiring process.