It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But when you’re trying to keep your recruiting momentum going, it doesn’t always feel that way. Between candidate and team vacation schedules, budgeting, and end-of-year reporting, it can be difficult to keep everything moving full steam ahead. But, fortunately, there are a few simple ways that you can take advantage of this time of year to build stronger candidate relationships. We talked to the experts to find out how you can finish your year strong and set yourself up for a successful 2019.

 

Check your assumptions.

While it may seem like everyone’s attention is consumed by visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, that isn’t always the case. “Get rid of the assumption that no one wants to talk about a new position because it’s the holidays,” says Matt Tant, CEO of Relode.

 

“Many candidates have already scheduled time off so there is no need for them to make up excuses to take time off for interviews,” adds Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, founder and CEO of YOLO Insights. “You can also use video interviewing to reach candidates who are traveling.”

 

Think outside the email.

The holiday season is the perfect time to reach your candidates outside the office. “Ramp up your text and mobile recruiting efforts,” suggests Barnes-Hogg, “Many prospective candidates are traveling and spending time in airports, on trains, and as passengers in automobiles. They are ripe for contact via cell phone or text.”

 

For candidates who you aren’t already on a text or call level with, it’s a great time of year to showcase your company culture and open positions on social media. “Grab their attention with an intriguing, humorous, or attention-grabbing social media post,” Barnes-Hogg says. “Practice recruitment marketing by creating and sharing content that includes relevant and timely information, career advice, and humor.” That can include anything from showing seasonal office festivities to video Q&As with hiring managers or employee spotlights.

 

Spend some quality time with candidates.

If your workplace slows down in December, use that free time to build stronger relationships with your candidates. After all, there’s a good chance your candidates have more time for meetings, too. “The more person to person contact you have with potential candidates, the fresher they are and the more likely they are to either be active candidates or offer referrals,” says John Light, a partner at EvolvingTalentGroup.

 

“Q4 and the holiday season are slow for many industries, and that can open doors for more personable interactions with candidates such as meeting for coffee,” said Alan LaFrance, a manager at Lawnstarter. “That’s exactly how I ended up at Lawnstarter, despite receiving stronger offers from other companies. It all started with a quick meeting to talk shop.”

 

Send holiday cards.

People often expect mail around the holidays, whether it’s seasonal greetings, gifts, or updates from family. Holiday cards are a natural opportunity for recruiters to reach out and say hello. “Send out cards or follow up with candidates who had a great experience with you,” suggests Tant. Even if they aren’t currently looking for new roles, they could point you to friends who may be on the hunt. “Ask them for a referral. Chances are, they’ll be happy to recommend someone to you.”

 

Give back.

There are plenty of ways to give back during the holiday season, and it’s a great opportunity to acquaint candidates with their company. At Market Recruitment, a gift wrapping fundraiser drew interest. “We sent out a call for volunteers among our mailing list as well as on job seeking sites,” said Market Recruitment’s Matt Dodgson. “The number of volunteers was stunning; we could barely accommodate everyone!”

 

Beyond giving your candidates something to feel warm and fuzzy about, it’s a chance for recruiters to get to know them casually outside of an interview. “We had the opportunity to genuinely get to know each other,” Dodgson said. “Work aspirations sometimes came up organically, and sometimes they didn’t. We did notice, however, an increased response rate to job opportunities when we released them in the somewhat slower periods during and immediately after the holidays.”

 

Give the gift of opportunity.

It’s natural to feel hesitant about reaching candidates during a time of year that’s full of family obligations. But shake off the guilt and reach out. “What better holiday gift to give someone than a great job?” asks Barnes-Hogg. “You are giving candidates an exciting opportunity to take the next step in their career. This ‘gift of a new job’ gives your candidates and their families a gift with long-term impact.”

 

How do you keep your recruiting momentum going during the holidays? Let us know on Twitter @claralabs. And if you’re ready to let Clara handle your holiday scheduling, visit claralabs.com or sign up for your free trial today.