Start now to use the Christmas break to your advantage in recruiting great staff for 2018

Bruce Tait, Chief Executive

Start now to use the Christmas break to your advantage in recruiting great staff for 2018

If you’re waiting for January to come before you start the process of recruiting a new member of staff, you might just miss out on the best candidates.

We understand that it’s a pain to even think about recruitment at this time of year, but our advice is that a little bit of preparation just now will put you ahead of the pack in 2018.

BTA Recruitment Manager Karen Naysmith explained:

"Firstly, you can’t assume that people aren’t looking for work in December. In fact for the last few years December has been a busy month for charity recruitment as many people use the Christmas break to surf the recruitment websites for a new position in the New Year.

Those recruiters that can provide candidates with up to date vacancy information over the Festive Season, will be top of their list. We work closely with our sister company, Charity Careers Scotland to make sure that applicants can digitally access full information about all of our roles."

Even if people aren’t looking over the Festive Break, there is every chance that they will be doing so in January. According to Investors in People, as many as 50% of employees have “get a new job” at the top of their professional development plan for the New Year. So starting a recruitment process that runs over the break AND for the first two weeks of January gives you a double advantage. It also means that your recruitment advertisements are out in front of those that have left it until January.

BTA’s Kirsty Murray says that this is the best way to make sure that the very best candidates see your role first:

“BTA recruit for more roles with Scottish charities than any other organisation and we know that people enter the New Year determined to act now to get a new job. We use our database, contacts, social media channels and recruitment adverts to make sure that it is our clients’ jobs that they see first. If you’re not live with roles as early as possible in January, or if you’re recruiting through an agency that doesn’t have the database of applicants that we do, you’re going to lose out to other charity recruitment campaigns."

So it seems that there is still time to be launching a new job before Christmas and that using the “two bites of the cherry” approach and starting in December really helps put your charity in the front line in the battle for talent, but there is also another date that starts to impact. The 2018/19 financial year may seem a long way away, but when it comes to recruiting senior staff in order to have them in place for the coming financial year, you really do need to be starting before Santa takes to the skies.

BTA Managing Director Abeer Macintyre explained:

“I’ve recruited multiple senior roles for Scottish charities this year, and one of the things I’ve really noted is that three month notice periods for charity leaders are very much the norm now. Whether it’s for a Director or a Chief Executive role, you should pretty much assume that from launching a senior role to the successful candidate’s starting date is going to be at least three months, nearer four. That means starting in December to even have a chance of getting someone in post in April 2018.

“BTA are determined that charities should not be losing their best staff to the other sectors, just because the holiday season is a “natural down time” for hardworking charity staff. Our view is that we can get things started now, so that you can relax over the break knowing that our recruitment process is still working for you while you recharge your batteries”.