Sitka Blog

Why recruitment should not slow down over summer

16 August 2018

Many organisations think of summer as the worst time to recruit – no matter how urgently they need to fill a position. Candidates too will often say they are abandoning or postponing their job search until autumn, in the belief that there are no jobs around over August.

But these organisations and candidates are missing an opportunity.

Contrary to the - albeit widely-held - perception, summer presents a great opportunity for recruitment and job hunting; when it comes to manager and director-level roles we’d go so far as to say it’s one of the best times to find or fill a role. And here’s why:

You have more time

As a hiring manager or director, you probably have fewer meetings and deadlines over summer – with clients and colleagues taking leave, your schedule is likely to be quieter and more flexible. This allows you more time to screen CVs, interview candidates and concentrate on finding the people that are right for the role.

It also means you’ll have more time to consider and strengthen your employer brand, review the employee benefits you offer and ascertain which skills are most critically needed within the business. These are all things we’re pleased to be able to help organisations with throughout the year, but in summer we find clients have more space to really get to the heart of these important issues.

So, even if you’re not actively recruiting, the summer can be a great time to get the groundwork done so you can get a head start in the autumn.

If you’re a prospective candidate looking to move on to a new role, or are at least open to the possibility, summer is also a timely opportunity to make a start. With holidays relieving the pressure at work, you’ll have more downtime to reflect, explore your options and attend meetings and interviews. It’s also an ideal time to refresh your CV and brush up on your interviewing skills – both steps we are able to coach candidates through.

For us as recruiters, summer is a fantastic time to meet prospective candidates for coffee and really get to know them so we can understand which role and organisational culture they will be best suited to.

You have less competition

As many organisations operate on the belief that it’s not worth advertising a post until September or October even, as an employer you’re less likely to be in competition for talent and more likely to secure the person or people you need. And you won’t have the same pressure of rushing or be at great a risk of candidates being presented with counter-offers. In many ways, this makes the investment in recruitment over summer a more worthwhile one.

Likewise, as a job seeker, you have a greater opportunity to stand out amongst a smaller pool of candidates, with hiring managers better positioned to give your application the time and credit it deserves. Keeping up a commitment to your job search throughout summer will ensure you are able to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

You have a more captive audience

The majority of highly skilled candidates usually aren’t actively job seeking; rather they are often hidden in the recruitment process. While many of them are in secure roles, it’s been suggested that some 86% of candidates are receptive to hearing about job opportunities. Yet 90% of recruiters only focus on candidates who are actively on the look-out for new roles.

The reason it’s even more important to tap into the passive job seeker market over summer is because, as Lou Adler says in 8 steps for turning passive prospects into eager candidates, “passive prospects need to be convinced that the first conversation is worth their time investment.” And as we’ve mentioned, over summer those prospects will have more time to give. When business returns to normal in September, it will probably be more challenging to reach them.

At Sitka, we offer a comprehensive recruitment search that blends traditional and head-hunting techniques to reach these passive candidates because we find it vastly increases the pool of high quality talent that clients have to choose from. You can read more about why it’s so important to prioritise passive candidates in our Business News Wales article.

For candidates too, the fact that recruiters often have more time means they’re more receptive, more attentive, and better able to connect with. Summer alone generally makes most people this way! And of course, once you establish a connection with a recruiter or hiring manager, you’re in a much better position to secure your perfect role.

If you want to take advantage of the summer to recruit leading talent, or you’re a qualified or aspiring manager or director considering your next role, please get in touch.

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Georgina Lewindon,



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