The myth of the summer hiring slowdown

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The summer vacations of our school days might have ended a decade or two ago, but many of us still think of summertime as vacation time. It’s like a “less work, more play” instinct kicks in for most people — and at most offices — around June 1.

However, the downshift that many workplaces experience during the summer shouldn’t deter job seekers from searching for work during warmer months, says Patty Coffey, a partner in the information technology division of Winter, Wyman, one of the largest staffing organizations in the Northeast. In fact, Coffey calls the summer hiring slowdown a “myth,” and says that, if job seekers play their cards right,  June, July and August may actually be some of the best months for job searching.

By Patty Coffey

It’s summertime — those carefree months when you put your flip flop-clad feet up, and sip a glass of lemonade in front of the ballgame. And it is certainly time to abandon that job search for a few months, right?  Wrong!  The perception that companies cut back on — or even stop — hiring in the summer is a myth. In fact, companies are filling positions at the same, if not an increased, pace during the hottest months of the year.

Conducting a job search during the summer can be tricky though, and it is important to avoid the biggest hazards for job seekers during the summertime — timing and schedules. Because of vacations — your own as well as employees of the companies with which you wish to interview — trying to schedule interviews can be complicated. An interview process that would typically take three weeks may take five or even longer!

Patience, therefore, is key for summer job seeking. Candidates shouldn’t feel discouraged if the interview process takes extra time, and those who can withstand a longer process may just find that perfect job.

Summertime is actually an opportune time to start or continue a job search. Here are eight great reasons why you should keep hunting when the mercury rises:
1. Summer is a slower season for some industries — Employees of many companies may actually have more time to interview candidates in the summer, when they aren’t on vacation, because it isn’t a busy time for their organization. For example, accounting firms are busiest in the winter and early spring, so summer is a great time for these firms to build and train their staff.

2. The jobs are there — Companies still need to hire even when it is 95 degrees outside. If you stop your job search, you could miss out on some great opportunities. And you may face less competition if other job seekers are buying into the summer slowdown myth.

3. Contract-to-hire positions are abundant — Many organizations will hire contract employees during the summer months, to fill long leaves of absence such as extended vacations and sabbaticals, and these positions could turn into permanent employment.

4. There are unexpected networking opportunities — Summer is a social season, so job seekers can take advantage of golf outings, barbeques, and neighborhood get-togethers to network with other professionals.

5. A shortened interview process is possible — While summer vacation schedules can prolong the interview process, they can also expedite it.  If the schedules of all involved align, companies will speed up interviews (to even just one day!) to avoid the complexity of scheduling multiple meetings.

6. Summer makes for an easier transition — Summertime is typically a less hectic time to transition to a new job. Prospects can get acquainted with the company when less people are in the office and things are slower. It can also be less traumatic for families if a move is involved, since children wouldn’t have to switch schools mid-year.

7. You can sneak out of the office more easily — Many companies have a more lax schedule in July and August. Some close early on Fridays while others have more unofficial long weekends. Bosses are often on vacation or may take a long lunch, so employees can slip away unnoticed. Vacation days are more accepted–your boss won’t think it is odd if you take a vacation day or two in August. In fact, you could even consider taking a “job search vacation” where you conduct a week-long blitz of intense searching and interviewing.

8. It’s a time of energy — The days are longer. Flowers are in bloom. Summer is a buzzing season with a lot of vivacity!  Serious job hunters should capitalize on both the energy of the season and myth of the summer slowdown by beginning or continuing their search. Jobs are certainly there, waiting for tenacious job hunters to beat the heat and find them!

What are your job search plans for summer? Let us know in the comments section, below.

  1. Also state and most academic fiscal years start on July 1st, so new budgets are open and more jobs possibly posted.

  2. What’s up with not hiring older people? Is it not age discrimination? I go to all these places where these younger kids work and there not any faster and they sit and talk to each other and not to the customer. Just wondering.

  3. Clearly this woman missed the jobs report on Friday, July 8th. And where’s the editor who should be checking stories for timeliness and appropriateness? …so far off the mark from reality!

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