Yesterday I wrote that the month of December is a slow season for recruiting. It’s as if the writers at the mighty Wall Street Journal saw my entry and decided to take a different view on the situation. Lo and behold, on page B6 of today’s WSJ, in the Career Journal section, we have this little "Q&A" gem by Perri Capell:
"Q: What advice do you have about approaching the job market during the holiday season?A: It’s a myth that hiring slows after Thanksgiving. In fact, it’s possible more offers are made during hte holiday season. By staying active, you’ll have an advantage over all the candidates who think nothing happens in December.…Most hiring managers prefer to find candidates through referrals or chance meetings so they won’t have to advertise or employ recruiters [i.e., headhunters]. Your goal as a job hunter should be to meet as many potential employers as possible at this pre-advertising stage.…"
The article then goes on to suggest you go to holiday events hosted by companies where attendees are encouraged to bring guests. Hmm, let’s see. Say you’re a guy and you have a guy friend who works at Goldman Sachs and who’s totally single. Now do you suppose he would be inclined to take you to the office party? I mean, come on, if a guy brings another guy to the once-a-year office holiday party, what would the watercooler gossip team say?
Maybe what the writer, and the executive-career coach quoted in the article, had in mind are non-financial companies, but it’s my experience, and that of many others who work on Wall Street as well as headhunters I talk to, that December is indeed a slow month. Of course, I totally agree that you should stay active, just like I said yesterday. My additional advice is to use the holiday season to retool yourself and take a fresh look at your objectives and situation.