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Hiring Trends During the Holiday Season | S2:E12

  • Episode 12
  • 'Inside Executive Search' Podcast

    Attracting, selecting, and retaining top talent is a challenge for many businesses. Join long-time executive search professional Scott Peterson, alongside Steve Yakesh, President of Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search at one of the leading executive search firms, to discuss insights and techniques to assist companies to achieve their best results. If you’re an executive leader looking for advice on hiring the best talent for your company, you’ll want to hear this advice from these industry experts.

    Steve Yakesh | President, Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search

    As President of Direct Hire & Executive Search, Steve Yakesh leads Versique’s award-winning permanent placement division with more than 20 years of experience. Additionally, he guides strategy for Versique’s twelve practice areas, including IT, HR, Finance & Accounting, Engineering & Operations, Sales, CPG, Digital Marketing, Executive Retained Search, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Family Owned and Demand Generation.

    Scott Peterson | Vice President, Executive Leadership Search

    Scott Peterson leads the Retained Executive Search division at Versique as the Senior Practice Director. In his role, Scott fills critically-important senior level positions such as CEO, CFO, CIO, COO. Scott has over 20 years of experience in executive recruiting. Additionally, Scott has also served on the Board of Directors the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation, Medina Golf and Country Club, as well as several youth sports organizations.

    Podcast Transcription

    [00:00:02] ANNOUNCER Get ready for your weekly dose of talent, strategies, and tactics from industry leaders to help you attract, select, and retain your top talent. You’re listening to Versique’s Inside Executive Search with Steve Yakesh and Scott Peterson.
    [00:00:23] SY Hello and welcome to the Inside Executive Search Podcast. My name is Steve Yakesh. This podcast is for business owners, executives and board members seeking strategies and tactics to attract, select and retain the very best. If you’re not feeling confident that you have a plan to attract the very best, keep listening. This podcast will help you get there. That said, I’d like to welcome the Wayne Gretzky of executive search, Mr. Scott Peterson from Versique.
    [00:00:51] SP Wow. That’s a great analogy. I like that one a lot.
    [00:00:54] SY He’s a young protégé, Phenom, best ever.
    [00:00:58] SP Best ever, Mr. Assist, goal scorer, assist leader. I like it.
    [00:01:02] SY Absolutely. World-record holder.
    [00:01:05] SP All those things.
    [00:01:05] SY All those things. All right. Hey, today we are going to talk about the top reasons why you should continue to hire and/or look for new opportunities during the holidays.
    [00:01:16] SP Yeah. We’re a couple days from Thanksgiving, so we thought we should do a holiday theme and we’ll preview next week, we’re going to wait until the end and tell you about next week’s podcast. That’s going to be really good.
    [00:01:27] SY Yes.
    [00:01:27] SP This is just a warmer-upper, so to speak, for the next week. We want to talk about again, why should you continue your search?
    [00:01:36] SY Yup. From a client and a candidate standpoint, right?
    [00:01:38] SP Yeah. Counterintuitive, you would think a little bit in that it’s typically a slower time of the year, because people are taking time off, they’re spending time with family, that sort of thing.
    [00:01:48] SY Things typically slow down. Yeah.
    [00:01:51] SP The perception of slowing down. One of the things you should think about is that the environment’s less competitive and what does that mean? It’s less competitive because there is many candidates there taking this time off from searching as well. If you’re looking, you’re going to stand out in a small crowd. That’s one of the reasons why you would want to continue.
    [00:02:09] SY Big fish, little pond.
    [00:02:10] SP Big fish, little pond. I like it. Then there’s less companies also. If you’re a company that’s in need of talent, don’t stop, because some of your competitors or other companies are going to slow down. If you don’t, you’re going to see candidates you may or not seeing otherwise.
    [00:02:25] SY No. Makes a ton of sense. Second topic is really around the candidate’s mindset.
    [00:02:32] SP Yeah. Candidates at this time of the year tend to be highly motivated. This typically is if you’re in transition looking for something, right? If you’re already in a position, you might not be looking this time of year. We’ll talk in a few minute about what you do during this time of year, if you’re in a solid position. You’re highly motivated. You want to get to work, you want a job, you’re worried about buying Christmas toys for your kids, or for your spouse, or significant other, you’re not going to be able to buy the G.I. Joe for your son, or the Barbie doll.
    [00:03:02] SY I was going to say, you buy G.I. Joe’s for your wife? I didn’t know where you’re going with that one.
    [00:03:07] SP Well, G.I. Joe’s, it’s dating me obviously, because I’m sure Taylor, our executive producer doesn’t even know what a G.I. Joe is.
    [00:03:14] SY Do you know what it is, Taylor?
    [00:03:15] Ta or: I actually do.
    [00:03:17] SP Oh, wow. Great culture. The point is if you’re looking and entering transition, it’s a great time, you’re motivated to take a job, so companies will find those people ready to go.
    [00:03:29] SY Well and too, let’s face it, there is candidates, or I’ll say employees out there that are looking at where their company is at as far as annual bonuses and they may be thinking, “My bonus is uncommon, because company had an off-year, whatever. They will maybe a little bit more motivated this time of year.” If organizations are trying to reach out, or even a job posting or something, whatever you’re –
    [00:03:56] SP Yeah, you might intrigue somebody.
    [00:03:57] SY You might intrigue somebody just found out or did the calculations that I’m not getting my annual bonus. Now you have maybe a couple hundred more people that might see and actually act on that post-in, or pick up that phone call from your internal recruiting team, or guys like you, right?
    [00:04:14] SP Yeah. I think the theme here is don’t just fold up the recruiting house, so to speak, just because Thanksgiving and the holidays are on us. Keep it active. Keep it going.
    [00:04:26] SY We talked earlier before the podcast, and this one you have labeled as prime time for referrals. What do you mean by that?
    [00:04:33] SP I love this, because it’s the time of the year where you just do a ton of parties, right? Christmas party here, you go to your spouse’s holiday party at their company. This is time to engage your employees as they go out and do that, right? To become your ambassador of recruiting. I’m going to put a trademark on that. You’re a recruiting ambassador. When they’re out in a party or an event, or whatever might be going on at the holiday time, it could be just with general holiday parties, if they’re armed with what you need as a company and have been sold the opportunities within your organization, they’ll just talk to people generally speaking about those opportunities. Maybe create something that maybe you wouldn’t have otherwise. Again, a great time for networking.
    [00:05:14] SY No, it’s a good reminder. I mean, you go to your spouse’s holiday party. My wife, she’s an educator, she’s a kindergarten teacher. I’m sure a bunch of teachers aren’t going to want the roles that were recruiting for, but their spouses might be in a position. If my employer arm me with our potential openings for first quarter of next year and I’d meet somebody that might be a good fit, I’m going to talk about it, right? It makes a ton of sense.
    [00:05:41] SP The referral bonus too that if you refer somebody in, we’re giving out $500 or a $1,000. What a great way it is to engage at your networking events that you’re at.
    [00:05:51] SY Perfect. How about the next bullet point we have up on the board is easier to schedule interviews, which I first – if I was looking at it I’d say, “Well, it’s actually doesn’t make sense to me, because everybody’s so busy during the holidays.”
    [00:06:05] SP Yeah, but they’re also – most companies shut down their travel schedule for their –
    [00:06:09] SY There you go.
    [00:06:09] SP – managers and directors and executives towards the end of the year, because they want to be home in and around the holidays. For example, this week with a Thanksgiving Thursday, most people are probably not traveling this week, right? They’re in their office, they’re at home. If interviews were happening this week, you get a better chance of being able to schedule those. Don’t take this for granted, because I do think it is a bit easier during the holidays, and so take advantage of it.
    [00:06:34] SY Yeah. Well and especially, I mean, if you’re thinking if you’re an employer and let’s just say you’re recruiting for a vice president of sales and company aid shuts down, because they don’t buy into what you just explained to the listeners, but our organization said, “Hey, let’s take an opportunity let’s expedite our process.” Don’t skip any steps, but we’re all here, so we might as well. Now, I’m making an offer to that candidate that I really want on my team where other companies they’re only at maybe stage one or two of their new process.
    [00:07:09] SP They’re asleep doing the process.
    [00:07:10] SY Now guess what? I make an offer to that individual, he or she’s saying, “What an awesome Christmas present. I just got a great new job.” I’m going to accept it, right? Yeah.
    [00:07:21] SP You could probably pick your start date, because they’re like, “You don’t need to start before the holidays, etcetera. You want to start mid-January, that’s great, but we’ve already done all of our work.” You can compress your interview schedule. Again, we’ve talked about that in prior podcast about time in the interview process can kill some of these candidates from the process, because it takes so long. Again, if you’re buying into the easier to schedule mentality, you can compress that and get everything done in a shorter period of time as well. That’s really great for you as a company and the candidate.
    [00:07:52] SY Yeah, makes a ton of sense. How about candidate’s ability to jumpstart their career?
    [00:07:57] SP Well, this ties in the end of the year self-assessment. What are we doing? As you as you sit in your position at a company, no matter what it is, it’s always a time for self-reflection and self-assessment. Am I at a company that I love? Am I in a position that I love? Is there opportunities for advancement?
    [00:08:15] SY They compete one with.
    [00:08:17] SP Yeah, all those things. These are the things that we’ve talked about when you do that assessment of yourself and you’re looking for a new opportunity. You do that at the end of the year, just because you get some – it’s a little bit more quiet time, there’s some more days off built in with the holiday schedule. You just naturally think about it. This is a way if you’re heading in November, December, hey, what better way to jumpstart your career than to start in January? You got full – the full benefits, the full bonus, all those things that come with it. I think it’s that time of year where you should take stock in your career and decide if I’m all-in with this company, because it’s great. The people are awesome and I’ve got great opportunity, or maybe it is time to look and take advantage of less competitive environment to go look for a job in.
    [00:09:04] SY Absolutely. Well Scott, I appreciate all that and it all makes a ton of sense for companies and candidates out there that might be looking and/or hiring, so all good stuff. With that, we’ll wrap up this podcast. Excited for our next couple podcasts.
    [00:09:21] SP Yeah. Next week is going to be a fun one.
    [00:09:24] SY Yes.
    [00:09:24] SP Would you like to preview it?
    [00:09:25] SY We’ll keep it as a teaser for next week.
    [00:09:28] SP It’s got a holiday theme to it.
    [00:09:31] SY There you go.
    [00:09:31] SP We encourage you to tune in, because as much as we like to think you have a lot of laughter during our Inside Executive Search Podcast, my guess is next week’s going to be off the charts funny.
    [00:09:43] SY All right. I love it. Nice little teaser.
    [00:09:46] SP Perfect.
    [00:09:46] SY Well, if you want to get a hold of Wayne, I mean, Scott Peterson, feel free to look him up on Versique and/or on He’s available on either one of those. As always, if you enjoy listening to Scott and myself [Steve Yakesh] and the topics we discuss, feel free to subscribe to our podcast channel on all of the podcasts. What do we call them that?
    [00:10:10] SP Outlet channels.
    [00:10:11] SY Podcast channels; Google Play, Apple Podcast, Spotify.
    [00:10:14] SP You know what we’re talking about.
    [00:10:16] SY iHeart Media. All those good things. All right, well happy holidays.
    [00:10:20] SP Talk to you next week.
    [00:10:21] SY Happy Thanksgiving, I should say.
    [00:10:23] SP Thank you.
    [00:10:23] SY All right. Take care. Thanks for listening. Bye.

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