I often get asked what's the IT Job market like in the lead up to Christmas? Does it slow down? It must get slow in December right? Does IT Recruiting stop?
NO. it's actually the opposite.....
Since my return from the UK over 8 years ago I've made offers to IT candidates in Christchurch right up to the day before Christmas EVERY year!
Now there's a few reasons for this....Line Managers often have outstanding openings in their teams they desperately want to get them sorted before they head off on summer holidays, at least getting the contract signed so they know that their new dev is secured & will start in the new year! They don't have to start in December but they know the contract is signed and and they can merrily head off on their well deserved summer break, knowing on their return the new team member will be starting in January or February.
There's also quite a bit of movement in the market around this time - it's spring heading into summer, people are out & about, bumping into old colleagues, having BBQs, maybe not getting that bonus or promotion in November gets them a little itchy for that better opportunity so you see a few people swapping in and swapping out of IT jobs.
We also have some great candidates returning from the UK or overseas coming back for Christmas to spend time with the family....summer is a nice time to return home and catch up with friends & family while soaking up the summer vibes and taking their time to find a new IT job and check out the NZ IT job market. They often plan to get something in the New Year but will inevitably start looking at the IT job market in November / December and if the right opportunity is there then BOOM it can happy all rather quickly and they will often start in January, like I did when I returned from the UK.
Yes it's a busy time - everybody wanting to get their IT projects delivered before the Christmas deadline and before everyone heads off for Christmas (most people take time off after Christmas 25th December and will return 7th or 14th January 2019) and some companies have a 2 week shut down. Other companies will close a few days before Christmas but I still find our IT clients, although busy will make an hour to interview a good potential new team member. In fact, it's like that all year round when working in an 'IT skill short market' you can't predict when a great IT candidate turns up and when they do you have to jump on them and be proactive to meet any good potential IT talent & get them on board!
If people don’t take their summer holiday in January, they will often in February (the best weather in average in NZ). Good IT recruiters / Line Managers & HR know this and it can be hard to get all the key decision makers to make the hire around this period, so again it’s great if you can get that great IT candidate over the line before Christmas and before the Jan / Feb holiday season it’s a good strategy.
Into January we also see IT candidates making that New Year's resolution, maybe doing a little 'Life Audit' and putting that into action by getting out on the IT job market so it can be a good time to find new IT candidates looking for a change in the New Year, as we know the IT industry never stops….
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I'm Paul, Founder & Principal Consultant of Sunstone, an IT Recruitment & HR company specialising in recruiting IT roles within software, web, mobile, blockchain, big data, infrastructure, security & networks in Christchurch & South Island of New Zealand.