How Your Hiring Decisions in 2023, Can Make or Break Your 2024

Digital Marketing News

How Your Hiring Decisions for Your Digital Agency, Can Make or Break Your 2024

Why You Should Hire Now for 2024

As dramatic as it sounds, it’s true. The hiring decisions your business makes now, can have a huge impact on your businesses success in 2024.

Two periods in the calendar year are the most popular time for employees to move jobs. January and February, when new hiring budgets become available and people are looking for new jobs in the new year: And September to November.

What this means for you, is that even if you’re not looking to expand or grow your team, you’ll likely have to replace team members who may be resigning in the new year.

And unless you want to be caught short in the new year, we would advise getting your recruitment process in order now!

Why is October to November so Busy for Recruitment?

But first of all, why is this such a busy period for recruitment and hiring? 

  1. Hiring Managers are back from Summer holidays.

Hiring and recruitment sees a natural lull in the summer months, when hiring managers and employees are typically on holiday here in the UK.

Which means that when everyone is back in the office in September, there is a huge rush on hiring, as hiring managers seek to make up for lost productivity and recruitment opportunities.

  1. Hiring budgets need to be used before the end of the year.

Some of the rare businesses who haven’t yet used their hiring budgets for the year, will need to use them or lose them.

  1. Most Employees have a 3 month notice period (link to notice period). So if you want them to start in January, you need to start looking now.

Because the new year means lots of employees moving jobs, businesses try to get ahead of the curve by starting their recruitment process now. 

Because a typical recruitment cycle can take 1 – 2 months. That candidate then has a 3 month long notice period. Meaning you’ll only actually have someone starting after February.

Which leaves little to no time to have employees onboarded and trained up.

  1. Some businesses will be hiring due to new business acquisitions.

Some agencies who have won new business have held off hiring due to the uncertainty within the market. They’ve been using freelancers (which are expensive), or outsourced some of their work to another agency (which can have an even bigger impact on the final product).

But now the market is more stable, we’re seeing more agencies exploring hiring more to help alleviate some of the strain on overworked teams.

Why is Hiring Now, so Important for Your Digital Agency?

Whether you are client side or working in a digital agency, Q4 is the busiest time of the year. You’ve got the obvious reasons like Black Friday, Christmas and January sales to prepare for.

But you’ve also suddenly got employees who haven’t used their holidays deciding to take a week or two off work.

So now you’re busier than any other time of the year, and you’ve got less people to complete this extra work.

When you’re busy delivering work for clients while covering people on holiday, the last thing you want to think about is recruitment. After all, it can wait until you’re less busy, maybe January.

Unfortunately, every other digital agency leader or hiring manager is thinking the same. 

Additionally, November and December are the busiest time for recruiters. Many people think “New Year, New Me”, and begin reaching out to recruiters to help them look for a new role in the new year.

And like it or not, some of these candidates that we speak to can be people in your team. They may well be applying for jobs now, or considering leaving in the new year. Which means you’ll likely have a smaller team in January, if you don’t start the hiring process now.

How to Know If You Need to Hire.

The best steps you can take would be to consider where you want to be in a year’s time?

  1. What are your growth plans, your new client wins, and client aims that will have an impact on the amount of people you need in your team.
  1. Conversely, you should almost forecast who is likely to leave: Which of your team members are a flight risk? Sit down with each member of your team to find out how happy they are, how motivated they are and what clear goals they are working towards. Their answers should give you some insight into who you may be needing to replace.
  1. You can also look at last year and the start of 2023 and ask yourself: How many people left your business? What were the reasons they left? Can you predict any of the problems your employees are facing, and minimise the risk of people leaving?

Of course, some people are going to leave anyway. Sometimes the reasons people leave are completely out of your control. 

So you may want to start exploring your options for hiring, putting out adverts, and contacting recruitment agencies so you are ready to hire if and when you need to.

Why Your Hiring Needs are More Urgent Than You Think.

Just because you’ve decided that you need to hire new employees doesn’t mean it will happen overnight. While there are steps you can take to improve your recruitment process, there’s no escaping that hiring can be long and expensive.

It normally takes between 1 and 2 weeks to get a shortlist of potential candidates engaged in the interview process. These interviews then take place over the course of a couple of weeks.

If you’re lucky, then you could be making an offer in 3 – 4 weeks. But more likely, it’ll be 4 – 6 weeks.

Of course you can speed that up by working with a head-hunter. Whether it’s right to work with a recruitment agency is up-to-you and your business, but there are some advantages and disadvantages of working with a recruitment agency to consider.

But realistically, it’s going to be over a month before you can even make an offer. Then it can take a week to negotiate salaries, sorting out contracts, and waiting for the candidate to hand in their notice. 

Then the candidate typically will have a 3 month notice period. Meaning your new hire won’t be starting for 4 months earliest, if you start hiring today.

And factoring in that it can take anywhere between 3 – 6 months for someone to be performing at the level you need (depending on their level of seniority and expertise). Although some studies have put that estimate as high as a year to become fully productive in their role.

So it can actually take a lot longer than initial estimates to have a fully functioning and productive member of the team onboard.

Why You Don’t Want to Wait till January and February to Hire

You may be considering waiting until January/ February to hire, when new hiring budgets become available and there are more candidates considering looking for new jobs.

But we advise getting ahead of the curve and starting those conversations early. 

Hiring in January or February is notoriously expensive, and digital marketing is no exception. You’ll be facing more competition from your direct competitors who also didn’t hire in November. 

And the candidates you do manage to interest will be in a better position to negotiate higher salaries.

And of course, you will miss out on some of the best talent on the market, who will have been head-hunted earlier by proactive businesses and agencies.

Additionally, if you wait till February, the candidates you do hire won’t start until May or June. And they won’t be able to perform at the level you need until even later in the year!

If you’re looking to hire, or even if you’re just considering your options, it can be well worth a chat with one of our expert digital recruitment consultants. Whether you choose to work with us or not, we always aim to offer advice that is right for your business and build partnerships within our industry. 

Reach out here to speak to one of our consultants and see if we can support your business.

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