Ready For The January Hiring Surge?

By Donna Shannon at Denver Job Search Examiner.  As a job seeker, it is important to know the ebb and flow of the hiring cycles to make the most of them.   Consider January:  everyone is getting back into the work groove and now they are ready to fill some of their open positions.  Not only that, budgets for the new year are finally open, allowing companies to move forward on their plans.

Here’s a breakdown of the next couple of months – and how to use this to your advantage:

First week of January:

Not many jobs will be posted this week.  Everybody just got back after all, and they need this week to get through their built-up voice mails and emails.

What you should do:  this is your prep week.  Work on your job searching tools, including your resume, social media profiles and employment website settings. Don’t forget to create an “application resume,” which includes any additional information for online applications, such as past employer addresses, detailed skill sets and references contact information.  If you are using the major sites like Monster or Careerbuilder, make sure that your Job Agents are set to send you notifications of newly posted jobs.  If you are getting a bunch of spam jobs (like insurance), change your resume settings to “Private.”

Now is also the time to educate yourself in job searching.  At The Personal Touch Career Services, we have a number of seminars in January just for this reason.  Upcoming Denver classes include Create a Compelling Resume, How to Build an Effective Job Search Strategy and Interview Skills. Check out all the classes at

The January hiring surge is short – learn everything you can to become a competitive candidate.  Remember, you are literally fighting hundreds of applicants for every job. Make the most of every opportunity.

Second week of January:

By Tuesday or Wednesday, you will begin to see more activity on the employment sites.  HR is finally getting some feedback from the hiring managers, which allows them to get those jobs up there.  However, many of these jobs are the “rush” postings: rush to get up, but slow to respond.

What you should do: this is your target company week.  Pay attention to those job postings, but your focus needs to be selecting and researching at least 10 potential employers.  Research includes finding out about their business, the size, where they post jobs and key managers and employees.  Work on building your social network.

Third week of January:

NOW is the hot time for jobs online.  The majority of January jobs will be posted during this week and the next.  Don’t expect HR to respond to you this week – they are too busy screening all those job applicants.

What you should do: fill out applications.  Some companies and agencies applications can take over 45 minutes to complete.  You need to be very careful with these, making sure to avoid errors or ommissions.  Research these employers and follow-up to hiring managers through email or social media.

Fourth week of January:

HR is finally ready to start calling people for interviews.  They are still posting jobs at the same time, so if you have a hard time returning a phone call, just keep in mind their work load.

What you should do: focus on tracking down hiring managers. Don’t just put your fate in HRs’ hands.  Continue doing research on your target companies.  If the first 10 is exhausted, choose another 10.  And of course, keep doing a good job with the online applications.  When you get your interview calls, be sure to answer the phone right away – you don’t want to fight HR’s schedule!

First week of February:

While jobs are still being posted, HR is really concerned with in-person interviews at this point.  This can be tricky.  If you ask an HR person about their schedule for hiring, they will say “immediately!”  However, the reality of trying to coordinate multiple interviews frequently stretches this phase over 2 – 3 weeks.

What you should do: be patient.  HR is eager, but don’t get discouraged if their interview schedule doesn’t match their initial timeframe.  Be helpful, be attentive, and keep working on your networks – both live and virtual.

Second week of February through the end of March:

THIS is when most of the January jobs are getting hired.  The new positions approved in January won’t get hired until March – after which is when we will see another lull in hiring while managers head out for spring break.

What you should do:  all the things that make you successful.  Continue with diligent applications, building networks, refining cover letters and researching employers.  The more you know, the sooner you will get the job!


About Buzz Smith

Welcome. My name is Charles “Buzz” Smith and I’m the SR Curmudgeon of Consulting Services at OPI National Outplacement. My role, in addition to agitating our sales personnel, and consultants is to take the lead on delivering outplacement and career transition services that are effective. I blog about career stuff when my wife of 40 years, Linda banishes to the garden.

Posted on January 4, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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