While things in Australia are sluggish, you can make your move and find a job in Australia
Bad news if you have your sights set on a job in Australia: things are about to slow down. The good news is that this happens every year, and with a little bit of strategic tweaking, you can turn this slowdown around to your advantage, especially if you're seeking a new opportunity. Play your cards right, and you could be starting your shiny new position by this March - or earlier.
What Australian slowdown?
Every year, workplaces in Australia experience a slowdown from the beginning of November until the end of January - specifically, from November 7 ( Melbourne Cup) until January 26 (Australia Day). You can consider this somewhat of a holiday season in Australia, a bit like summers in northern Europe, where countries like Germany and Denmark have a similar season in their work years, or Spring Festival in China.
Australia's government requires full-time workers to get four weeks of annual leave, so November-January, a time that also includes Christmas and the New Year, is a common time to take at least two weeks off. Employees will go on leave throughout this period, meaning that for three months, it's uncommon to find a full offfice of people.
Why you should push through
Remember what it was like during the last couple of weeks of school before you went on a long vacation? Short staffed offices combined with people in office dreaming about their vacation time? That's a combination sure to increase turnaround times. If you apply for a job, you might not hear back so quickly, and you may find HR departments a little less available than usual. However, that doesn't mean you should wait until the end of January to apply. Rather, you can use this time as a jumpstart on your job search process. A little patience can go a long way right now.
The reason for this is that any long period of time off - especially one that coincides with a time ripe for New Year resolutions - is going to cause current workers to reevaluate their lives and their direction, personally and career-wise. The end of the first month of the new year will inevitably bring some turnover in employment in Australia
You're not going to do housekeeping tasks like paperwork while you're doing people-oriented tasks like attending meetings or events. Your strategy to this slowdown period has the same type of method in mind. Chances are if you're hiring, you're not going to get as many applications in January because the best of the best employees out there are going to be hanging out in a beach house with their families - possibly overseas. So change gears. Forecast your headcount and prepare to target prospective employees when they come back from their vacations.
You can also set your sights on improving your employer branding, keeping in mind that people coming back from an extended vacation are going to have different views on their careers and priorities, which are all things you can work with when you're trying to recruit your next star employees.
So, now that you have a leg up on this knowledge, let's talk about how you can work it to your advantage.
Throwing your name into the running now means that companies will have someone to turn to when turnover inevitably begins at the end of January. Considering how long interview processes can take - an interview process from first call to offer can take around a month, and that's not with adding in your notice period or the possible time needed to fr a visa to process - you could begin your job hunt now and begin your new position in March, right when things are about to pick up in the Australian business world.
That also means that you have time to do the more time-consuming aspects of job search preparation. Get your CV in order, whip your LinkedIn into shape, and brush up on your interview strategy. On a more personal note, you can make sure of this time period to clarify what you want and think about your job. Do you want to change jobs at all? If the answer is yes, feel free to proceed. Get a leg up on new year, new you, right?
If you're happy where you are and just want to see what's out there, you can clean up your documents anyway for a good passive job search.
Once you've taken stock of the headcount at your company and gotten that work out of the way, you can focus on a marketing place tailored specifically for this period of time in Australia. For example, people are less likely to check their LinkedIn on vacation, so focus your hiring efforts on a social media channel that they are more likely to check. Facebook is an obvious one here, and Instagram can also be a great place to catch candidates' eyes as they're posting their #beachvibes selfies.
Also, your prospective employees are likely going to be thinking about making big changes in their lives, so appeal to that. Transformation and renewal are always attractive topics, but they're going to look most attractive now, with a new year close at hand and with relaxation and vacation at the front of their minds.
Here's to making the most out of this holiday season, wherever you are.
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