The Best Time to Hire, According to Google

December 21, 2020
Cait MacBrien
Director of Marketing at Drafted

The weeks leading up to the holidays in December are always quiet at Drafted. Too quiet. Traffic and engagement go down and it seems like we're sending tweets into an echo chamber. Rather than write another post about why you should keep hiring in December, we decided to face the facts: or at least go look for them. What is the best time to hire?

This article was originally published in 2017 so we decided to see if our findings still hold true in 2020. The results? They do, here's what we found out about the best time to hire based on Google search trends.

According to Google, the week before Christmas is the #1 week of the year to not care about hiring

Image of an empty office

Sorry, no one here who cares about that. All those green arrows below are this week (a.k.a. the week before Christmas) over the past 4 years. When it comes to thinking (and searching) about human resources, no one is spending any time on it this week.

Image of search term trends for human resources between 2013 and 2020.

And Google Trends shows us that no one is searching for &talent acquisition this week, either.

Image of search term trends for talent acquisition between 2013 and 2020.

Ok, so maybe HR & talent leaders aren’t googling themselves over the holidays. But surely, they must be planning ahead for the New Year this week? Google says no.

Image of search term trends for capacity planning and headcount between 2013 and 2020.

Ok, maybe they’re looking for qualified candidates to fill the pipeline? No again. No one’s even thinking about LinkedIn this week.

Image of search term trends for Linkedin between 2013 and 2020.

After seeing this tremendous drop in search volume for HR and talent related topics; I decided to make sure that the entire internet didn’t suffer from search doldrums before the holidays, so I checked a popular search: Google.

Image of search term trends for Google between 2013 and 2020.

It turns out that people are still enjoying the internet this week. So where are recruiters, talent leaders, and hiring managers hanging out online this week? Here’s one possibility (and I don’t blame them, that’s where a lot of us are): Facebook. Although searches have declined YoY since 2013 traffic remains steady during this week compared to the others months of the year.

Image of search term trends for Facebook between 2013 and 2020.

Like many of us, this week is likely a time full of packing, memories, vacation, travel, family, friends (and perhaps a bit of panic) for HR and talent leaders. And that’s not a bad thing.

Three takeaways for the best time to hire:

HR & Talent Leaders - Start planning for next year

Sure it’s fun to see the ebbs and flows of hiring trends, but what do any of these trends mean for hiring leaders? The biggest takeaway is probably that it’s time to join your colleagues and relax a bit. Or, this week could be a great time to start your planning for next year.

Since I was surprised to see such a drop in the search terms that fuel the hiring industry, I wanted to see when volume picked back up.

It was no surprise that the term hiring has it’s most significant annual uptick in the first week of January, when HR and talent leaders are back in the office and ready to tackle the New Year.

Image of search term trends for hiring between 2013 and 2020.

But recruiting (the art of actually hiring those people) has taken shown some interesting treads over the years. From 2014-2017 search trends for recruiting spike to their apex in the first week of February, like clockwork. But in most recent years, 2018-2020, recruiting search terms have seen their peak popularity in December. This could signify that talent leaders and hiring managers are getting down to brass tacks, and figuring out how to actually hire more teammates for the up coming year.

Image of search term trends for recruiting between 2013 and 2020.

One useful way to get ahead of the competition this holiday season is to get ahead of the trends.

Speed and knowledge are your competitive advantage:

  • Set goals for your “first onsite interview” day after the New Year.
  • Make sure your hiring teams are prepared to interview new candidates.
  • Know what sourcing and recruiting tools you will you use next year to help you hire.

Hiring Managers - Meet with your talent team

Much like talent leaders, your hiring Super Bowl is going to kick off in early January. You can help your talent team, and even get the edge on other departments by having your hiring plan and most urgent job reqs ready to go on January 2nd. Talk with your talent or HR leader now to understand what they'll need from you in 2021, or prepare for your standard intake meeting ahead of time. Your preparation now will mean you'll get your search "out of the gates" faster, and get ahead of the competition in the race to hire great teammates.

Companies who serve HR & Talent Leaders - Reflect, plan, make some content

As a member of the HR Tech community, and a marketer, these trends offer me a great reminder:

The best teams market and sell with their customers, not against them.

After all, you are in business to make customers successful and happy, not to push your agenda every chance you get. During the high-season, be your customer’s biggest supporters. Create content and products that make them incredible at their job. During low-season, like this week, reflect and plan. Learn from your successes and mistakes — and take a pledge to be more valuable every New Year, than you were the last.

And if you’re still in the office, dreaming about tools that will help you hire better in 2021, get in touch with Drafted. Our calendar’s open.

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