Should Jobs Be Advertised Over Christmas & the New Year?

Peter Weddle

From the ClickIQ Blog

Traditionalists would have you believe that Christmas is a terrible time to recruit and advertise for jobs, but is this true and is it the full Christmas story?

To test this assumption, we analyzed ClickIQ’s data from over 250,000 jobs between December 2017 and January 2018, then benchmarked it against the surrounding months (Oct 17, Nov 17, Feb 18 and Mar 18) to see what trends emerge that recruiters can use to help improve their talent attraction strategy.

Let’s Start With December

Historical consensus states that people don’t look for jobs in December. Our data confirms this is true, but there is perhaps a smaller drop-off than you would think.

In December, the volume of job applications fell by 16%, meaning a significant proportion of job seekers do continue their search throughout the holiday period.

However, perhaps as a result of their belief in the ghosting of Christmas recruitment, recruiters both reduce the number of jobs they advertise (down by 13%), but more importantly, they significantly decrease the spend per job (down by 43%), causing a couple of very interesting effects.

• Firstly, the response per advert is barely affected – down just 4%.

• More importantly, cost-per-application (CPA) falls dramatically by 41%.

So actually, whilst the volume of job seekers may drop slightly, December looks like a good opportunity to make some very cost-effective hires.

Throughout the month, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the volume of applications is fairly constant.

Recruitment and the New Year

As we move into January, we then see a very different trend emerge.

There is a strong increase in applications from December 21st until January 15th (with the exception of the bank holidays – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day).

The result is a huge increase in applications in January – up 271% compared to the benchmark.

Interestingly, advertisers are slow to respond to this trend and the CPA continues to drop as advertisers get their plans in order and start spending again. CPA drops massively – by 65% – while responses per job increase by 230% of the benchmark.

This makes the start of January probably the best time of year to advertise jobs, with the highest levels of applications per job combined with the lowest cost per application.

In Conclusion

So, despite what you might have been told, December is an excellent time to advertise from a financial perspective, with very low cost-per-applications (although the volume of responses will be slightly lower).

The New Year brings with it great opportunities with the optimal time to advertise being from December 21st through to the end of January. During this time, you will benefit from both significant increases in response rates and the lowest cost-per-application compared to any other time of year.


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