Understanding the United States Sourcing Cycle: A Guide for Talent Acquisition Professionals Outside the USA

Recruiting has become a global interaction for many recruiters. The United States market is one the hottest markets in the world when it comes to jobs. There are a lot of new recruiters on the market who do not understand the timeline or cycle of the U.S. year. Here is a guide that explains holidays and timelines to keep in mind when speaking to candidates throughout the year.

Q1- (January- March)

  • January 1st is New Year’s Day. Do not call or email candidates on this day. If this day runs on a weekend, then the candidate will likely be off the Friday before or Monday after New Year’s Day.
  • The end of the January is the best time to recruiter candidates who receive a bonus. Most candidates are reluctant to leave a company if they are expecting a financial payout.
  • Martin Luther King Jr’s. birthday is a national holiday that is the third Monday of January each year. Some candidates may have the day off. It is okay to reach out to candidates on this day.
  • President’s Day is a national holiday that is the third Monday of February each year. Like Martin Luther King Day, some candidates have the day off and it is okay to reach out to them.
  • March is typically the month where companies receive their budgets. This is a great time to build on clients. Also, it is a great time to source candidates. A lot of layoffs and promotions happen in the month of March.

Q2- (April-June)

  • Good Friday occurs on April 14th on 2017. It is a different date each year. Some candidates may have the day off or may take the day off. It is not recommended to contact them on this day.
  • April 27th is taking your child to work day in 2017. It is okay to call candidates on this day. It is a fun holiday and would be a great conversation piece with some candidates. Sometimes candidates open up and mention their children.
  • The Last Monday of the month of May is Memorial Day. Most candidates will take a long weekend with the Friday before off. Do not contact candidates until at least Tuesday. You will not get a good response.
  • May is the graduation month for both high school and college graduates. This is a good month to reach out to graduates who have not found a job yet. Some graduates don’t start their job search until after graduation because they are focused on their final exams.
  • The month of June is an interesting month for recruiting candidates who need to relocate. If you want to recruit candidates with children, starting in late May/June would be your best option. Most candidates do not want to relocate while the school year is not complete. The school ends the third week of June in most school districts around the country.

Q3- (July- September)

  • The summer months are when most people take their vacation. It can very tough to get candidates through the interview process from both the hiring manager and candidate scheduling perspective. Extra patience is required during these months.
  • Independence Day falls on July 4th of each year. If this holiday falls close to the weekend, a lot of people take a vacation. It is not a good week to recruit. Your response rate may be lower than usual.
  • August is the quietest month of summer because there are no holidays. However, towards the end of August, parents are focused on back to school. If you haven’t recruited that candidate who has kids and has to relocate, then it will be very difficult to get them to make a move.
  • The first Monday of every September is Labor Day. A lot of candidates take extended weekends during that day. It is not a good day to reach out to candidates.

Q4- (October- December)

  • The first Monday of every October is Columbus Day. Some candidates are off and some are not. It is okay to reach out to candidates on this day. You may experience a slow response rate.
  • Daylight Savings time typically happens in November. Please check the time difference when calling candidates to make sure you are reaching them at an appropriate time.
  • Veteran’s day is on November 11th. Some candidates may have this day off. If your candidate served in the Military, wish them a Happy Veteran’s Day.
  • The last Thursday of each November is Thanksgiving. This is a huge holiday in the U.S. People typically travel to be with family members and candidates are usually off on Friday after. Keep in mind, this may be a slow week on both the candidate’s and hiring manager’s end.
  • December is a hard month to recruit in mainly because of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. A lot of companies shut down for a week or two during this month. It will be hard to recruit candidates who expecting bonuses around this time. People are reluctant to make changes during this time because of the distraction of all the holiday fun.

Other Considerations

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There are a lot of other holidays not mentioned in this guide. It is important for talent acquisition to be culturally sensitive to our candidates. Understanding what is going on in the world of our candidates, helps us to connect better with them. It is important to know about other cultures outside your own. The worldly recruiter is the most connected recruiter who makes more placements and comes recommend.

A full list of U.S. holidays can be found here.

Tanya Bourque

Tanya Bourque is an experienced sourcing, recruiting, and HR professional with a special interest in the technology field. She has successfully sourced, recruited, and hired over 2,000 professionals so far in her career. In addition, she currently provides hiring and leadership development services nationwide. Her methods are proven to help her fellow entrepreneurs, CEOs, and HR professionals consistently hire more successful candidates. She believes that the key to consistently successful hires is a dedication to understanding both candidates and company cultures. She is currently the founder of OpExpert, a quickly growing talent acquisition service, as well as the cofounder of Untappt.io, an innovative startup and small business hiring and HR consulting company that is changing the way new businesses manage employee relations.