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A woman interviews for a tech job

Holiday job hunt: An ideal window for landing a meaningful IT job

November 18, 2016

By Lisa Dare

While it’s natural to wait for the new year to start looking for a new job, you might be missing out the absolute best time apply: right now.

Late-November through mid-December is the perfect storm for hiring. At the same time most job seekers are shelving their career aspirations in favor of holiday excitement and obligations, many employers are scrambling to hire before they lose the budget forever.

Why late-November is ideal for getting a full-time job

  • Companies are hiring project manager and BA types right now to start planning new tech initiatives, which typically kick off in January
  • Many companies are scrambling to fill spots before they lose budget for headcount
  • Historical data suggests full-time hiring stays steady through mid-December, while applicants all but disappear

Who should (and shouldn’t) apply for a job now

“For IT pros interested in working on new technologies and projects, right now is a very exciting time of the year to look for a job,” says Ellece Campbell, a direct placement manager with TEKsystems. “Companies are gearing up for their more exciting new initiatives in January, so they need to get the people who will lead them now.”

“IT pros who support health insurance or anything related to benefits open enrollment have a great opportunity right now,” says Connor Kuba, a direct placement manager.

However, some industries and skills are less hot at this time of year. “Retail organizations put a freeze on hiring around now,” says Kuba. “The last thing a Home Depot wants to do is take a system down close to Black Friday. They don’t want any distractions that take away from enabling consumers to shop.”

Similarly, many companies hiring developers and network admins slow down hiring until the new year. “Many wait until budgets are finalized around February to get serious about hiring,” says Kuba. “But people with hot skills like mobile development, InfoSec and front end development can always find a job, regardless of the time of year,” he adds.

Is it worth giving up your bonus?

“The answer depends on what you’re looking for,” says Matthew Fielman, IT Direct Placement Services director at TEKsystems. “If you’re the kind of person who seeks meaningful challenges in your career, this is a great time to look for a permanent job. If you care more about compensation, the raise you get might not be worth losing your bonus.”

A warning

While late-November is an ideal time to job-hunt for lots of people, be prepared for some scheduling frustration. Hiring is a collaborative process—lots of people have to meet with and agree to a new hire. Vacations and holidays can make scheduling difficult, so it helps to build in some flexibility with your interviewing availability if possible.

Get serious: How to find a full-time job

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