If you search ‘job seeking during the holidays’ you get some really mixed feedback. There are many articles saying it is a great time to be searching for a job, saying decision-makers are all still at their desks. Others paint a picture of gloom for anyone job seeking during the holidays.
Now, I am quite sure that the market is different in London or Hong Kong, and it is probably even a bit different in Johannesburg, but in Cape Town, we love our holidays! The joke goes that Cape Town is known as the Mother City because everything takes 9 months, and most people would admit that the pace in Cape Town is vastly different to the pace of life in Joburg. This year ‘semigration’ has become a hot topic, with thousands of people from around the country flocking to Cape Town for a better quality of life, as an alternative to emigrating. This improved quality of life means that the majority of decision-makers will be taking their family on holiday over Easter and over the December break.
The Annual Recruitment Lifecycle In Cape Town
Let’s look at the annual recruitment cycle for when it’s a good time to look for a new finance job in Cape Town. From my professional experience, I would say the best time for job seeking in Cape Town is between February and Easter (April) and then May through to November.
Why do we have times that are less than ideal for job seeking in Cape Town?
The end of the year will generally see a downturn in new roles opening to the market and a slow-down in process of roles that are open and being recruited into.
Low Job Turnover
Consider that December is the time of year when most businesses pay bonuses and incentives. When you have worked so very hard all year to meet your KPI’s and earn that annual incentive bonus, you are going to be very reluctant to resign before you receive that long-awaited pay-out. Additionally, most people in Cape Town take their longest leave over the December school holidays. Starting a new role in December or January is not ideal if you have lovely holiday plans that could involve anything from camping in the Cedarberg to beaching it up in Bali.
For these reasons, you can appreciate that the natural turnover of roles will slow down as we see fewer resignations in November and December. That means fewer roles available to the job seeker. Conversely, if you are willing to make a move at this time of year and you are in process for a role you are quite suited to, you will have less competition for the role.
Slow and Postponed Processes
Of course, there will be some financial career opportunities available to those job seeking during the holidays, but you can bet that the process will take longer than usual. There are reasons for this as well. One is, the decision-makers take their leave – off they go on their family trip to Euro Disney for 3 weeks, and the recruitment process comes to a complete halt until their return in January. A second reason is a business’ recruitment budget running out – 2019’s budget has been plundered by October so the business says lets hang-ten and look at placing this role in 2020. Things start to get going again in late January or February following the December holiday period.
April is another recruitment-staller of a month! Including Easter, there are five public holidays between 21 March and 1 May. Depending on when Easter falls, it is possible for us to have a full month with not one single full workweek. This time of year is a work productivity killer and that very much affects recruitment processes as well. Again, we have decision-makers taking leave, and with so many holidays, businesses tend to prioritise their core business processes over recruitment processes. The opportunities that are around at this time will have a process that drags, often losing momentum and possibly seeing a change in requirements or direction as a result. It is just not a great time of the year to try to make a move in your career.
What if I have to find a job in Cape Town over the holidays?
If you don’t have a choice and are forced to find a job during the slower times of the year, I preach patience. If the role is right for you and you are right for the role, it will happen, but it might not happen as quickly as you would like.
We at CA Financial Appointments aim to make your career move as smooth as possible, no matter the time of year. To make sure you don’t miss out on any financial career opportunities over the holiday period and going forward Submit Your CV To Us or Apply Directly To Suitable Financial Jobs On Our Job Board so that we can add you to our database. You never know what amazing opportunity could present itself!
Written by Commercial Finance Recruitment Consultant, Cathy Symmonds – firstname.lastname@example.org