From Thanksgiving to January 1st, statistically, its the most complex time of the year in the world of recruiting for both candidates and companies. Employers have budget deadlines to meet for the 4th quarter — or conversely, they are looking forward to a fresh budget come January before making major personnel changes. Most managers are swamped in December and put off until January all of the extra “side” tasks like writing a new job description or getting internal approvals signed off on. Employers also hold off posting opportunities until January assuming that a “fresh wave” of candidates will fill the pool once the New Year arrives; or a rush of recent December graduates will suddenly be available. Consequently, job seekers tend to resist applying for jobs during these months for similar reasons. They commit to staying at their current job for just a few more months so as not to make a major change before the holidays or perhaps to secure that “end of the year bonus.” During the succession of holidays, a psychological component comes into play as well for everyone; the holidays entail spending more time with friends and relatives, which causes a certain degree of self-reflection on what might be currently missing from our own lives that we haven’t yet paused to consider. Combine that thought process with the approaching New Year and you’ve got a lot of people quick to make New Year’s Resolutions involving their career.The real question is why wait until the New Year?While seasonal data and strategy tactics may increase your “odds” by bringing a higher volume of candidates or deeper, more considerate approach by employers to the hiring process –the right fit for the right company isn’t about odds. It’s about referrals and relationships.The New York Times published an article and reported that more companies are identifying potential job candidates through personal referrals from their internal employees — a trend that has since grown exponentially, especially with the increasing merge between social networking and recruiting. Relationship based referrals aren’t centered on certain odds or certain seasonal timing — they’re not hampered by holidays or fiscal budgets. Your relationships already exist and the ability to make a referral is available rightnow. Take this thought process a bit further than just “who do I know whose company is hiring that I might be a fit for,” or “who within my organization might know a great fit for our open position,” and think about the non-calculated, everyday interactions you have.
Whether you are an employer, an employee, a recruiter, a CEO, or a job seeker — your future will be influenced more by your connections and relationships than by your capabilities or experience. Instead of hurrying up to wait for the perfect time to apply somewhere or post a position, approach every encounter as a potential bridge to your future because you just never know when or where you’ll connect with someone that will change your life and career.
Of course it’s absolutely critical to have a killer resume! That single piece of paper is a direct reflection of how you present yourself to the world, it is ultimately what employers reference whether send in or handed over. However a resume doesn’t get your foot in the door. And most people that have landed their dream job will tell you they created the door themselves. Often the most amazing opportunities, the greatest fit between a candidate and an employer doesn’t come from a relationship that started with a resume that was emailed in blindly from a job seeker to a random recruiter. It comes from a relationship that started between two people, accompanied by a personal referral.So as the holiday season approaches think about this: As you fly home who is sitting next to you in the airport lounge? Every trip on a plane. Every person in line behind you. Every neighbor, friend, relative, stranger on the subway or friends of friends at holiday parties can potentially fuel the connection to your dream career. Not everyone finds their perfect career in life. Unfortunately, most people don’t. But those that do will likely tell you that it’s because they didn’t wait. It’s because they stopped depending onodds, and started looking at every encounter as an opportunity to make a step towards a better future.