Blue Monday: Do you have a pipeline of candidates for when your digital team resigns?

Blue Monday, which falls on the third Monday of January, is supposedly the most depressing day of the year – and has become a kind of Black Friday for people dissatisfied with their lives. Coined in 2005 as a marketing campaign for the now-defunct holiday company Sky Travel, it’s transformed into an opportunity for brands to push everything from luxury trips to gym memberships to new jobs.

But whether or not the science behind Blue Monday is reliable, January is undeniably a huge time of year for job-hunting, with massive search spikes for terms like “jobs” and “career change”:

The new year goes hand in hand with seeking out a new job. A ComRes survey published last January revealed the most common New Year’s Resolutions. Two of the top ten – “spend more time on personal wellbeing” and “spend more time with family and friends” – are related to improving work/life balance, which is often cited as a major motivator for people to leave their current role.

Why you should be worried about losing your digital team

As employers, you simply can’t afford to bury your head in the sand and pretend that the January job-hunting trend isn’t real – particularly when it comes to your digital team. Given the wealth of opportunities that exist within the digital space, only the most naïve business owner or department head would assume that none of their staff will be contemplating a change of employer in the new year.

With January approaching fast and typical notice periods varying from four weeks to three months, organisations can be in real trouble if they’re faced with a period of high staff churn and no candidate pipeline to fill the roles.

Team this with the huge competition for digital skills and companies can find themselves at a distinct disadvantage if their A-players decide to leave. This is especially true in the North West, where digital is underpinning the Northern Powerhouse. As organisations start to build in-house digital teams, they’ll want agency-calibre employees (which can be very hard to find).

It pays to keep your finger on the job market pulse

Even if you don’t have an immediate vacancy to fill, it’s good to have a clear understanding about the type of candidates available. This might even change the way you think about hiring, in terms of what roles are needed and what skills are out there.

Whenever an important member of your team leaves, it’s tempting to immediately seek out a like-for-like replacement, but that’s not always the best option. In reality, this can be a great opportunity to bring in new talent with different ideas, even if they don’t appear to immediately fit the mould of the person they’re replacing. You’ll only truly be able to make this call if you understand the skill sets of potential candidates.

Are you planning growth in 2018? Don’t leave it to the last minute

If there’s even a small chance that your digital team will be expanding next year, why not start putting in the groundwork now? Have conversations with people who are currently on the market – or who could be seeking a change of employer within the next few months – and start building up your pipeline. That way, you’ll be prepared whether you need to add to your team or replace outgoing talent.

No immediate vacancies available? Just be honest

Have you identified someone who’d be a fantastic addition to your digital team, but you’re not currently in a position to offer them a job? Don’t let that put you off speaking to them. Just be honest – tell them the role isn’t signed off yet, but that there will be a need to recruit soon so you want to start those initial conversations. This sort of chat can be a great way to grow your shortlist of potential candidates.

Ask yourself: Can you afford to miss out on this candidate?

If a candidate is truly outstanding – in terms of their culture fit and skillset – then you need to consider the ramifications of missing out on hiring them. Is there any chance of making room for them in the team even without resignations?

We see a lot of this, particularly within PPC – great Paid Search specialists are so hard to find that they tend to be snapped up whenever they’re available, even if there isn’t an urgent need to hire them.

Facing a loss of digital talent? Have aggressive growth plans in digital, but can’t find the right people to push those plans forward? Let us help! Get in touch today to discuss your digital recruitment needs.

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