As a recruiter in the advertising industry, I am well-acquainted with the annual timing for new job opportunities and employee desires for job changes. I am continually being asked questions like “When is the best time of year to find a job?” or “Is March a good or bad time to search for a new position?” March is a fabulous time to search for a new opportunity, especially if you are in media sales. Why? Because this is the time of year that annual bonuses are paid to employees and once that happens people are freer to make a move, thus creating new opportunities in the job market.
There are six months each year that I see peaks in hiring: February, March, April, May, September and October
The following months are more challenging to find new positions:
January: Employers are getting back after the holidays and digging out. Many managers are hitting the reset button focusing on current employees, setting expectations and giving their sellers quotas and budgets for the New Year. And when you add in the numerous conventions to attend (Consumer Electronics Show for example) at this time of year, the hiring can be pushed back a month (or maybe even two).
June, July and August: It is difficult for a hiring manager to make a hire when they are on a summer vacation. During this time of year, it is hard to get everyone together and on the same page to make a hiring decision. Many times I find that my summer searches actually get finalized in September or October due to all the scheduling conflicts.
November and December: You can schedule a networking interview during these months, but in all likelihood, hiring managers won't end up pulling the trigger on a new hire until after the first of the year. There are lots of reasons for delaying hires during these two months. Many companies are finalizing their upcoming annual budgets and some have decided to hold off on making a hire trying to save dollars before closing out the year. Add the holidays into the mix and hiring can grind to an absolute halt in November and December.
I tell my candidates to be kind to themselves. If you find yourself looking for a job in the summer or during the winter holiday period, you have to be patient. If the job you want does not materialize in November or December, it may be there for you in February or March. Use this time to network and do your best to get in front of the hiring managers. But understand for the reason's I've listed above that sometimes you cannot control the timing.