Want to hire finance and technology staff before April? You need to start looking now!


The days are getting longer and the weather is warming up. Everyone in the office is talking about their Christmas holiday plans. The year is almost over! There’s no need to think about recruiting staff now … or is there?

According to our experienced recruiters, it’s a common misconception that the end of the year is a bad time to find new staff. If you want an employee to begin in the new year, you should start recruiting right now.


You can see in the above graph that the number of job applications falls significantly in December. The recruitment process for a permanent position typically takes up to eight weeks plus four weeks of notice. This means that if a company wants someone to start in January, they need to be looking in October/November.

Why do applications fall in December? Probably the reasons you would expect - companies have extended closures in December/January and many applicants go on holiday at this time of year. November is the perfect time for hiring because companies can get in early and hire new staff before the lull in December and rush in January.

By finding a new staff member sooner, they can get to work in January rather than April! Recruiting in December is still possible, it just requires a more talented recruiter to search the smaller pool of candidates and find the most talented people.

Below are some key insights from the recruitment experts at Marshall McAdam:

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Ben Cass
Founder and Managing Director

The Spring Carnival in Melbourne marks the start of another important race in the world of business - the race to hire before Christmas. With six working weeks to go after the last horse has passed the winning post, if you’re not already kicking off your next hiring process, you may be waiting until Feb / March for your new hire to start!

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Hamish Sinclair
Founder and Chairman

If you are planning to add to your management team but are waiting until January - expect your new hire to commence around Easter!

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Gavin McDonald
Principal Consultant, Accounting and Finance

Recruiters, clients and candidates often enter December with the same assumption, that the market will fall flat in the festive season and not to return to health until after Australia Day. While there is some truth in this, it also presents a fantastic opportunity to find the best talent over your competitors. Clients who 'hit the market' at this time of year often find that they can get ahead of other businesses who are content to wait until the new year in the quest for finding the best talent. High-quality candidates can be secured at this time with the help of a highly skilled and motivated recruiter, and it may just be the difference between your new starter hitting the ground running in January .... or much nearer to Easter!

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Rachel Morton
Principal Consultant, Accounting and Finance

When a client comes to us wanting a specific role filled, we reach out to the passive market. Over the Christmas holidays, most of the candidates are on holidays. In my experience, it’s easier to get a candidate into the interview process at the start of the year before they get too busy with work and life commitments.

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Pamela Allan
Principal Consultant, Finance Operations

I work primarily in the contract market and I see the same thing every holiday period - good people get booked up early! Staff tend to go on extended holidays at this time of year and short-term contracts to fill those gaps are essential. To secure the most reliable contractors, companies need to think ahead.

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Cydney Hughes
Principal Consultant, Accounting and Finance Contracts

I specialise in finance contractors and interim finance professionals. In the leadup to Christmas, there is always a spike in applications from skilled, part and fully qualified accountants on working holiday visas, primarily from the United Kingdom and Ireland. Everyone wants to get away from their winter to enjoy the Australian summer!

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Richard Green
Principal Consultant, Technology and Projects

It's a common misconception that there aren't many opportunities in the Melbourne IT market in December when in fact the November/December period can be one of our busiest periods of the year. There's often a scramble to secure talent who can hit the ground running in the new year before the January holidays kick in. Hiring managers really need to start the hiring process now if they want to find someone to start in the new year.

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Vicki Woodcock
Principal Consultant, Technology and Projects Contracts

Would you rather be lying on a beach or covering for your staff? Getting organised earlier will save you the stress.

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Moran New
Principal Consultant, Technology Projects

When clients come to me looking for quality talent, I hunt down the best people at any time of the year. I have found that hiring in December can be done but it takes longer than usual. All of the staff at Marshall McAdam go to extra lengths to find the best people!

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Tim Hutchinson
Founder and Sydney Director

Having experienced 10 festive periods in the Australian market, I feel that market perception and reality often diverge. Throwaway comments like, ‘Nothing happens from November to February’ can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Candidates start to believe that companies don't hire during this period and companies temper their hiring efforts in the belief that talented individuals are too busy to think about their next career move.

From my perspective, the reality is that some candidates do wait until the new year before considering a move and some companies do wait until after Australia Day to hire. However, this is the exception and not the rule. We are typically as busy as ever in December and January, and some of the best talent acquisition happens before the new year.

My advice, whether you are hiring talent or seeking the next career step, is to ignore the market chatter and water cooler anecdotes. Have a laser focus on your own aspirations and agenda, and take action to achieve the outcome you desire. One thing is for sure - at Marshall McAdam we will be working, networking, listening, consulting and bringing people together until we pull the first cork and crack the first beer on December 23rd.

Get in touch with our team so we can help you get the ball rolling on your high-performance team for next year. 

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