By Fausto “Tony” Recalde

Take it from someone who’s watched many hiring cycles: The New Year’s recruiting surge is very real.

January and February are well known as the best months to look for a job, since companies have new hiring budgets in place and are picking up where they left off before the holidays. It’s also the time of year that many workers reflect on their current careers and decide they want something new. That means that employers and recruiters across industries can often expect a deluge of resumes in the New Year.

That might sound intimidating for anyone in charge of hiring, but there’s still time to get ahead of the curve. Here are a few steps to prepare for the year’s biggest job-search season.

Know your hiring needs beforehand.

While hiring spikes for many employers in January and February, not every company or industry benefits from hiring more at the start of the year. For example, take two industries we specialize in at Far West: healthcare construction and biomedical services.

At the start of pandemic, many healthcare construction projects in our country immediately halted, but the resulting freeze on hiring professionals in that field has been thawing in the past year. Meanwhile, biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) are almost always in very high demand – especially now that more and more technicians are reaching retirement age and leaving the healthcare space, leaving biomedical teams to operate with skeleton crews.

Start by understanding what your start-of-year hiring needs will be (and how they might suddenly change). Assess which roles you’ll need to prioritize – whether they are new openings or ones you’ve been trying to fill for a while. That way, you can set the right goals before a crowd of jobseekers inevitably comes knocking.

Develop your network.

That’s right: Networking isn’t just for jobseekers. Employers do it too, especially when a big hiring season is on the horizon. That way they aren’t stuck waiting helplessly for candidates to respond to their online job postings.

You should proactively reach out to organizations that might have some quality candidates up their sleeves. For our specialty industries – project management, medical construction, IT and biomed – city colleges, specialty training centers and even the armed forces are all great places to start.

Nail your job descriptions.

This one should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many employers overlook it. A thorough and accurate job description helps you attract candidates who want exactly what your open role offers.

No jobseeker wants to apply for a seemingly perfect role, only to discover during an interview that it’s entirely different than how it was presented on paper. Those situations waste both the candidate’s and your time – and they’re awkward to boot.

When you write a job description, place yourself in the applicant’s shoes. What would you want to know before taking the time to apply and interview for this particular job?

Don’t fill a role just to fill it.

As the old saying goes, haste makes waste. No matter how pressing your hiring needs are, bringing the wrong person aboard for time’s sake will only slow you down in the long run.

Think about the resources you pour into any one hire: time spent bringing them up to speed, materials and equipment, and, of course, their paycheck. But time is the most valuable of these. And when you onboard someone who isn’t the right fit or who you don’t see growing into the role, that will likely prove to be time wasted.

The right person for the job is out there, so invest the time and resources to find them. Don’t settle, and you’ll thank yourself later.

Work with a staffing agency. 

It’s harder to invest the time needed to make a great hire when you’ve got a whole team, department or business to run. That’s why staffing agencies are such valuable assets for more than 90% of companies.

At Far West, we’re in the business of asking you the right questions to optimize the recruiting process. We help you develop informative job postings that attract the right candidates, then vet those candidates thoroughly to make sure they’re truly suited for your opening. That way, you can rest assured you won’t waste time on applicants who aren’t the right fit. And since we know the recruiting landscape inside and out, we can help you predict what your staffing needs might be during the New Year’s recruiting surge and beyond.

Contact us today to start finding your next great hire.