Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

BrightHR unveils 71% increase in job applicants during seasonal hiring spike

As 2024 unfolds, the recruitment landscape faces its busiest period

The new year presents a time for companies to reassess their goals, set ambitious objectives for the upcoming months, embark on new initiatives, and expand their teams with fresh new talent.

Simultaneously, this period also tends to see a notable increase in employees contemplating career changes. Individuals will be looking to push themselves personally and/or professionally in the name of New Year resolutions. Which is often accompanied by a notable uptick in staff handing in their notice…

And this combination can cause turbulence in the hiring market...

Statistics from HR software company BrightHR indicate just as much. For example, in January last year, their recruitment software recorded a 71 per cent increase in new applicants—a trend that is expected to continue in 2024.

Thea Watson, Director of Growth at BrightHR, says: “January can be an exciting time for businesses looking to grow their teams. As typically it’s when more job seekers are looking for opportunities than at any other point of the year. But on the flip side, it’s a time when you’re more likely to have staff handing in their notice, so it’s a balancing act to get right.

“The first step is to take action to ensure staff retention. The best way to do this is by encouraging a healthy work culture where staff feel comfortable and able to raise their concerns, safe in the knowledge they will be addressed. Managers should also make sure their teams feel valued and reward their colleagues for a job well done. Whether that’s through bonuses, a handwritten note, a simple ‘thank you’, or via employee recognition tools.

“Although kind words and recognition are very important, given the financial hardships facing many these days, businesses also need to look for ways to make their employees’ pay stretch that little bit further—whilst keeping the purse strings tight themselves. And one effective way to do this is by having an employee perks platform that helps people access freebies and discounts on the things they love most.

“One of the biggest reasons workers leave their jobs is a lack of opportunity to develop and progress. Offering learning and development prospects through e-learning platforms can help employees feel fulfilled and committed to a company that’s investing in their peoples’ future. Additionally, frequent 121s are a useful way to set goals and check in regularly on progress.

“Flexibility is also something that must be considered as one-third of job ads now offer options to work flexibility. Plus, in the wake of the pandemic, workers worldwide are putting more of an emphasis on work-life balance.

“However, for businesses who are finding themselves hiring this month, whether that’s down to growing your team or replacing your staff, you need to ensure you have the right tools in place to make the process as sleek and efficient as possible. Especially as six in ten job seekers lose interest in a posting if the recruitment process is too lengthy.

“And then, when you’ve clinched that perfect candidate, you need a seamless onboarding journey that is informative, engaging, and valuable to your new employee. That’s why a streamlined recruitment and onboarding platform should be in every employer’s toolkit.

“With customisable documents and templates such as employment contracts, handbooks, and a wealth of ready-to-use policies in your arsenal, you can create a welcoming and informative experience for those joining your team.”