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Hiring at Your Utility Should Take a Backseat During the Holidays

Now that Thanksgiving has passed and you’re figuring out ways to use up leftover turkey, it’s time to consider the hiring your utility will do between now and 2018.

Or not do.

The last few weeks of the year are generally a terrible time to hire people. Sure, there will be some positions that must be filled quickly, but in most cases you should be planning your utility’s hiring strategy for the new year rather than scheduling interviews.

Why should you avoid hiring now?

For one thing, it’s the holiday season, which means a lot of people are on vacation and/or are distracted by year-end tasks. Finding the time to review résumés, coordinate schedules to meet with job candidates and complete background work can be difficult.

Hiring the right people is important, so you don’t want to give anything but your undivided attention to the process.

Second, oftentimes various departments in your utility will be looking to save money and not want to take on added salary, if only for a few weeks. If the position isn’t a vital one, it often can go unfilled for a while.

Third, the onboarding process for new employees can be difficult if key people are out of the office. New employees jumping into programs wrapping up for the year may be more of a hindrance than a help. And having someone who was just hired attend an office party where bonuses or gifts are handed out may be a little awkward.

Instead, your human resources department should be preparing for the hiring you’ll be doing in 2018.

That means updating or improving the job descriptions for open positions. It means talking to department managers for their expected hiring needs for the first few months of the year.

And it means reviewing the ways that you’re going to look for job candidates. Is your website job board appealing? Are you going to primarily use general job sites such as Indeed or will you augment that with specialty sites, such as trade publication job boards?

Now’s the perfect time to improve your hiring process – how well have the people you hired in 2017 worked out. Granted, not every employee will prove to be a good fit, but if you have a significant flop rate, something might need to be changed.

Take the time afforded to you and complete a systematic evaluation of what you do so you can hit the ground running in 2018.


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