Given the varied needs for resourcing and consulting, businesses may need to hire throughout the year. However, over the past few years I have observed a few interesting reasons why July can be an ideal, and often overlooked, time to hire great talent. Even as many business leaders find themselves in unprecedented times, looking at contingent employees as an option to scale during the uncertainty of the hiring is a solution worth considering.
Fiscal Years Have Ended
A lot of businesses across different industries end their fiscal year on June 30th. At that time, I’ve observed projects finishing, strategies realigning, reorgs affecting teams, and budgets shifting. In our business, this translates to exceptional talent becoming available. This year, as we have seen layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are finding even more talent is becoming available. For businesses who have budget, this is a magical time of year to hire because the supply of talent is high. Some consultants who understand this cycle may plan to take a few months off to refresh and relax while others are eager to jump into their next role.
Some companies even have credential limitations on their contingent employees and those expirations tend to align with their fiscal year. In some cases, these consultants are forced to take a six-month break from access. These consultants are usually well sought-after talent who are willing to take on shorter term contracts to fill the gap between credential breaks.
Employee Hiring Freezes
While hiring freezes within an organization sometimes align with the end of a fiscal, they can also be tied to the summer months in general. Recently, we’ve seen increased hiring freezes as a result of the pandemic. Most teams, including Human Resources, find themselves stretched thin because many people take extended vacations during the summer months. In some cases, even if people do have authority to hire, they may see fewer full-time qualified candidates applying or have the typical process take much longer because key hiring managers are out of the office.
Businesses typically pay for contingent talent from a different budget than permanent staff and the onboarding process is much less intensive. This allows you to bring someone on to help you with execution while you continue to search for (or wait for approval and budget to hire) great candidates for your full-time roles.
The Calm Before the Storm
Depending on the seasonality of your own business, July can be a slower time of year. If you are transitioning into a new fiscal year you are likely just starting to get your budget and plans in place. You may be asked to kick off a new initiative, revamp an existing strategy, or double down on a previous success. Right now, many businesses are reimagining how their organizations will adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, and many who have yet to consider digital transformation and the future of work are being confronted head-on with their importance. In any scenario, you will want to have the best resources to support you and your team—ideally before things get too overwhelming.
I’d estimate that at least 70% of the open roles I help fill are for clients who desperately need the help because they are drowning in work that they have had to take on themselves. This added work forces them to divert their focus away from their actual job and hiring help can feel rushed as they tread water. At Projectline we are always looking to make the hiring process as streamlined and seamless as possible. Choosing to partner with a company that can move quickly to find you qualified candidates using diversity and inclusion best practices is also a benefit.
However, the one thing that I wish we could give our clients more of is time. Hiring contingent talent before you are stuck in the tsunami allows you to be strategic in your candidate criteria, find the best fit for your culture, and occasionally save you money. Bringing someone on in July when things are slower or are starting to kick off, allows you more time to onboard the consultant. You don’t necessarily have to pay a premium for someone more senior who can dive into the chaos or already knows your brand. You have the option to hire someone who can ramp up with you and the team and in most cases bring a fresh perspective on your business.
Whether you find yourself at the end of fiscal, stuck in a hiring freeze, or savoring the calm before the storm, hiring contingent employees can give you the flexibility and peace of mind to focus on meeting, and exceeding, your annual goals. As you look to re-imagine your business in the midst of a pandemic and beyond, strategic resourcing could be a tool to help you withstand the storm and make you stronger as you lean into the future of work. At Projectline, we are here to help to partner with you to make your life easier—in July or any month of the year.
Want to continue this conversation? Connect with me on LinkedIn.