January 30, 2018


Author: James Butler  

Dial with Arrow Pointed at 2018. The New Year Hiring Frenzy Offers Risks and Opportunities.

Is the first month of the year really the best time to look for a new security job? The main article from SMR’s January newsletter, Key Resources, discusses the potential risks – and opportunities – in a New Year hiring frenzy.

The start of each year finds our inboxes full of messages promising the same thing: a new year equals a new job. Every January, human resource departments around the world are flooded with CVs from job seekers earnestly trying to make good on their goal of securing a new role.

Is the start of the new year really a good time to look for a job?

Many people take holiday breaks at the end of the year as organizations scale back activity. This down time gives potential job seekers lots of opportunity to consider changing jobs.

Since finding a new job is a common new year resolution, job seekers may find that there are more people than ever competing for roles in January. You may worry there is a chance you will become lost in the resulting feeding frenzy. If you are not an obvious fit for a role on the surface, that possibility certainly exits.

Recruitment via general career sites in any candidate-heavy market can appear to be exclusive rather than inclusive. The sheer number of candidates who apply will ensure competition is fierce. Organizations may be hunting for a perceived perfect fit, fueling a hiring process that may not be particularly objective.

January may not be a good time to get a great offer because of budget cycles.

Organizations that operate on a fiscal year are often nearing the end of that in January. Recruitment budgets can be low.

Depending on what industry you are targeting, bonuses are often paid during February and March. Positions often become available after that time, as employees wait for their bonuses before they move on.

If you are in this position yourself, you likely do not want to make a move just before you have a bonus due. Cash incentives are something to consider no matter what time of year you choose to leave a job. No one wants to leave cash on the table unless your new role offsets the loss in some way.  

Fundamentally there is no perfect time to go to look for a new job. Your career plan should be your driver. If the right position becomes available in January, prepare and apply. However, simply because it is January should not be the catalyst for change.

Do not be compelled to consider your options simply because it is the start of a new year. January is a great time to take stock, consider your career plan and refresh your targets.

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