Every time the shot is fired in a sprint race, the athletes find themselves in a race against time to win the elusive gold.

What if the athletes were to sprint before the gunshot was fired?

They’d be disqualified.

Timing is key to starting a race or completing it.

Recruitment is no different. It’s a race among candidates to land their dream jobs or trap themselves in a low-paying position.

That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the career gunshot known as recruitment cycles to ensure you walk away with an appointment letter and your desired salary.


During summer, relishing an alphonso mango is a seasonal delight.

However, did you know the job search in the construction and real estate industry is exceptionally high during the summer too?

Seasonal recruitment cycles play a major role in supplying employment opportunities that many recruits are unaware of.

That’s why it’s important to understand the various recruitment cycles to give your job hunt an edge.

Let’s breakdown the various seasons and offer a detailed analysis of what to assume during various seasonal recruitment cycles.

Late Winter Cycle – January to February

A brand-new year means a fresh session of recruitment is open. Businesses are going through a new budget year and there’s plenty of job success to soak into.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a chart to demonstrate that this period sees the most recruitment happen than any other time of the year.

The high chance for recruitment is due to candidates having a good chance of directly being interviewed by the decision-makers of the company.

The first couple of months of the new year are also an ideal time when professionals seek out greener pastures and post their resignations around this period.

Spring Cycle – March to June

After the heavy-duty months of January and February, recruitment begins to slow down considerably. Much of the recruitment cycle remains balanced and there is still a good shot at being recruited but with a lot less negotiation power.

Industries such as tourism and construction see a high surge in employment offers due to the holiday season. Jobs in the hospitality and hotel business also see an increase to accommodate the influx of tourists.

Late Summer – July to August

The time when companies expect their employees to take a vacation is the least busy part of the year. Hence, much of the HR and recruitment departments aren’t on full power and expect this time to be among the slowest months of the year for recruitment.

Hiring managers that work are usually time-strapped and spend their busy schedules analyzing the recruits hired during the first half of the year. The only recruitment that occurs is the seasonal hires considered to be entry-level or at minimum pay.

While it’s not impossible to find a job during this period, it’s definitely worth checking the local newspaper for ads and job boards for an increased chance of landing a job.

Autumn Cycle – September to October

If you missed your shot at securing a job at the start of the year – fret not, the autumn season sees an increase of recruitment openings once the vacation period comes to a close.

Many organizations task their hiring managers to concentrate their time on screening new applicants to fill up any slots that are vacant. With employees returning from a vacation, the tone of recruitment is usually relaxed and negotiation room for recruits is entertained.

Of the two months – September is a strong contender for seeing the highest increase in recruitment according to Executive Online’s data report.  October isn’t far behind but it’s advisable to start the recruitment process towards the end of August to ensure a smooth recruitment process.

Early Winter – November to December

Arguably the worst time to be on the job hunting blocks. Due to the start of the holiday season, many of the recruitment managers postpone any hiring until the start of the new year.

Due to the end of the budget year, the finances are low and human resources are tasked to save finances. All seasonal job offers up for grabs offer typically minimum pay.

Also, many of the top positions are frequently filled leaving candidates with internship openings.

Consider the early winter season to be the worst part of the recruitment cycle to job search.

Even if you’re unemployed, it’s a good idea to temporarily commit to a part-time job until the new year.


Now that we’ve understood the cold and hot points of the year when job searching, let’s have a brief analysis of the following points.

  • January to February – New budget year. The best time to job hunt for a respectable placement opportunity.

Negotiation Power – Extremely High

  • March to June – Recruitment is balanced. This period is still a good chance to apply if you missed the new year opportunity.

Negotiation Power – High

  • July to August – Vacation period. Summertime is a busy time for recruitment managers. Unfavorable chances to land a job.

Negotiation Power – Poor

  • September to October – Vacation time comes to an end. A short window of recruitment opens. Negotiation Power – Average
  • November to December – Holiday season begins marking the end of the budget year. Bad time for recruitment due to minimal hiring finances. Seasonal hires are open.

Negotiation Power – Poor

You’ve probably noticed how the year starts out strong only to end with a faceplant. Knowing the following recruitment information upgrades your overall knowledge on when to enter a negotiation phase.


Knowing the recruitment cheat sheet automatically puts you ahead of other candidates when landing your preferred job role.

Job recruitment follows a pattern as discussed in the previous section. Being prepared and waiting for the right opportunity allows you to tap into the recruitment dynamics of major corporations.

Let’s take a step-by-step process on how to enhance your career using these strategies.

The First Quarter

The first 3 months of the new year is an excellent time for both – freshers and veterans. If you’ve been thinking of job-hopping, there’s no better career window.

If you’re an expert that desires a salary upgrade, this is the perfect time to move forward with your salary dialogue.

Most hiring managers are under massive pressure to fill the vacancies left by their ex-employees. Hence, the eligibility requirements for your preferred job are minimal and companies are content to hire recruits even with an imperfect resume.

According to Glenn Smith, president of Precise Strategies, “If you want to improve your status, the peak hiring season during the start of the year is the time to do it.”

Many employees fear a salary discussion thinking the employer would reject their offer and they’d lose out on a valuable job opportunity.

Don’t fret. Opportunities at this time of the year are boundless.

Companies are always in search of professionals that add value to their work. If you fit the bill, and it’s the first quarter of the year, you’re in the golden period where all salary negotiations are tipped towards your favor.

Before you go ahead and set up your salary demands, evoke the following points in mind.

  • It’s important to understand your value before you demand an inflated pay
  • Spend time on calls with recruiters to understand what professionals in your turf are worth
  • The first quarter of the year is a unique time, be willing to walk away if your negotiation request is turned down
  • Only negotiate a salary hike if you’ve worked for more than 2 years
  • Start the negotiation offer with confidence and ask questions often
  • Bring a performance sheet to demonstrate your value
  • During salary negotiations, placing your number down first shows confidence
  • Open with a higher salary percentage than your intended amount and negotiate it down to your preferred number

The first quarter is the best outcome for salary negotiation, most companies are willing to pay the asking rate due to the demand in unfilled spots.

The Second Quarter

Once the hiring storm settles in, the recruitment opportunities dry up. It’s time to prepare yourself for a slow recruitment phase.

When it comes to salary discussions, it’s a 50-50 situation.

Most companies have plenty of options on the table and a high salary negotiation request is usually declined. Organizations with vacancies may honor your salary demands but proceed with caution and don’t aim too high.

Job opportunities are fairly high during this time but considerably fewer when compared to the first quarter.

With summer inching closer, certain industries continue to have a peak hiring season such as construction, tourism, real estate, hospitality, etc.

If you’re a professional belonging to the above categories, your job opportunity chances are limitless. Summer is the time when individuals start investing in housing and real estate, hence, other industries don’t offer too many opportunities.

The Third Quarter

The third quarter marks a time when the ball swings from one side of the court to the other. Hiring managers no longer entertain salary upgrades. Employment opportunities slow down considerably due to the vacation months.

Employers searching for candidates offer minimal pay and take a prime advantage in salary negotiations. It’s either “Take it or leave it”.

This quarter also sees major layoffs of the year due to non-performance. Candidates must be at their optimum best to ensure their jobs aren’t under threat of being replaced.

The only good news during this time is the flexible hours offered by certain organizations to their employees.

Here are a few recruitment tips to follow in the third quarter.

  • The third quarter is considered a nightmare for hired candidates, don’t place too many dedicated requests during this time.
  • Consider yourself lucky if you’ve landed an interview, accept the job package that is being offered.
  • Push all salary negotiations to the start of the new year
  • Expect to put in overtime as other seasoned employees are on vacation
  • Interviews for your preferred job roles are scarce, if you absolutely want to be hired, avoid negotiating
  • If you’re already hired, it’s a good time to prepare yourself for the next financial year by thinking ahead
  • Work extra hard to avoid being in the list of potential layoffs

As you’ve probably guessed, the 2nd half of the year belongs to the companies and hiring managers. Unless you’re exceptionally talented, chances of being hired are severely low and most candidates would consider themselves lucky to be hired during this period.

The Fourth Quarter

The final quarter of the year is a complicated time for both recruiters and candidates. With the holiday season fast approaching, the winter months have a mixed wave of hires.

Industries such as financial services, information technology, business consultancy, etc. see a dip in their hiring process during this time. With the end of the budget year, companies decrease their overall operating costs until the new year.

However, due to the holiday period, seasonal hiring opens and staffing in industries is generally on high priority. The gifting and tourism industries see a major boost in hires. Unfortunately, this may or may not be a permanent job listing depending on the company’s requirement.

Many companies fill these spots on a temporary basis to satisfy public demand during the holiday period. More men and women are required to ring the cash registers and additional support staff is hired to help customers understand the product.

Freshers and new recruits have a good time during the holiday season as they can work part-time without choosing an internship.

Once the holiday season comes to an end, the new year is where most of the candidates begin lining up for the first quarter.

Tips to remember when job seeking during the last quarter.

  • Jobs are mostly seasonal and on a temporary basis.
  • If you plan well, you’ll land a temporary job during the final quarter and take advantage of the employment opportunities once the new year approaches.
  • Many companies provide free medical care, dental services, and tuition fees during seasonal hiring. Don’t always go for the pay.
  • Gift vouchers are often provided to employees during this time to make up for low pay. It’s an exceptional trade-off if you’re in the market for a brand-new phone or electronic product.
  • Retail companies such as Walmart, Target, Amazon, and Ikea see a huge rise in seasonal hires. Landing a job in these companies is wonderful for your resume. Who knows? doing well could land you a job permanently.


When you read the market conditions, you understand the shifts and variables related to the recruitment cycle.

However, to boost your chances even higher, a good resume is always your best friend.

Don’t remain misinformed in the digital age, take advantage of the recruitment cycle and plan your career move accordingly.

We wish you the best in scoring the career of your dreams.

Did you know about recruitment cycles before reading the article? Comment ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and share your thoughts below.

Knowing about recruitment cycles could give your job search an edge

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