Searching for a job is a major undertaking, but knowing when to look can make the process play out more smoothly. While the adage that the best time to look for a job is while you already have one still rings true, the next best time is Q2. If you plan on moving onto greener pastures, here are 4 reasons why the best time to look for a job is Q2:
1. There’s less competition for jobs than in Q1.
While you may have a gut reaction to take the “new year, new me, new career” route, searching for a job in Q1 can put you in competition many other experienced people in your field. Employees who want to change jobs often stick it out their with their current job until the end of the year to earn holiday bonuses and enjoy paid holiday days that employers commonly provide. This means that many people who have experience in the workforce choose January to search for something new. Avoid the Q1 new employment scramble and hold off on your search.
2. Companies are actively recruiting.
Because college graduation happens in the spring, many companies advertise for job openings during Q2. While this does mean that there will be more people on the search, it also means that there are more job postings publicly visible, so you won’t have to search as hard to find openings. You can also stay ahead of the recent grad rush by applying early into Q2. Unlike applying for jobs in Q1, your competition is less likely to have as much work experience.
3. There’s a greater sense of urgency to hire.
Have you ever been in a situation where it takes you months to go through the interview and hiring process? Completing an initial interview, follow-up interview, and new hire paperwork sometimes takes weeks to complete when there is no sense of urgency.
This is where the time saving bonus comes in when applying during Q2: people want to leave for vacation! Though of course things vary from company to company, most companies would rather push candidates through and complete the process before leaving for the trips they have planned in the spring and summer. Filling the position quickly means that hiring managers and human resources workers can breathe a little easier instead of worrying about completing the sometimes extensive process of bringing someone in when they get back. Less feet dragging from companies means that you’re more likely to hear responses and complete on-boarding more quickly.
4. Companies have hiring momentum and money in the hiring budget.
Because employees are more likely to leave during the beginning of the year and positions need to be filled in the early months, there’s still energy to bring in new team members. Those responsible for hiring are still on their A game and working hard to secure great talent. There is also still likely money in the hiring budget, so companies are able to bring people in, and having more money in the budget also increases the likelihood of starting with a higher salary.
Obviously, there are nuances that vary from career to career. If you are considering entering the job hunt, ask people in your field if there is a time of year that has the best outcome. For instance, jobs in education or hospitality can have different schedules for the best time to search. When searching for a job, doing a little bit of homework can go a long way. And hopefully, that long way will carry you to a job before Q3.
Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. She is a contributing writer for Color My Bubble. Her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets 2017 anthology.