A recruiter sits at her desk surrounded by Thanksgiving themed images (turkey and cornucopia). However, amidst the holiday season, she also takes time to consider holiday hiring trends for 2016.

8 Holiday Season Hiring Trends to Prepare For!

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and at Newton, we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate some quality time with our family and friends! However, before breaking out the turkey and stuffing, the mashed potatoes and gravy, and of course, the pumpkin pie, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on what we as employers have to be thankful for this holiday season (and how you can capitalize on these hiring trends).

1. Hiring (and Email) Slows Down

For hiring professionals, the holiday season often comes as a godsend. Why? Our inboxes are no longer bombarded with 100’s of candidate emails on a daily basis. Skeptics can dispute the reality of the holiday hiring freeze, but let’s be honest. The majority of people check out for nearly 3 weeks between the months of November and January. You tell me how much hiring can get done under those circumstances…

Opportunity to Develop Hiring Strategies for Next Year

So with the hiring stall, is this your time to check out? Absolutely not! In fact, this lull period often provides recruiting and HR professionals with their one opportunity during the year to regroup and develop strategic hiring plans for the upcoming year. At Newton, as we enter the holiday season, here are some activities that we always make time to focus on:

  1. Coordinating with hiring managers and leadership to finalize headcount projections for the upcoming year
  2. Evaluating our recruiting processes
    1. What has been working and what hasn’t
      • Analyze, refine, and adjust
    2. Are there tools that we could be using to improve our recruiting workflows?
  3. Catching up on the latest employment rules and regulations

2. Recruiting Budgets Resetting

Another reason for employers to be thankful this holiday season is the reset of recruiting budgets. After all, your plans mean nothing if you don’t have the resources needed to see them through to fruition.

Take advantage of the slow holiday season by dedicating time to finalize a recruiting budget with business leadership. Present your findings and proposed strategies from the previous stage to justify your resource needs. Get management’s feedback and then work with them to set a recruiting budget for the upcoming year. Who knows, maybe this is the year there will be budget made available to invest in that applicant tracking system you’ve been wanting. Think about how much easier hiring would be with online applications, recruiting dashboards, automated workflows, and more. Sayonara to cumbersome candidate tracking via spreadsheets and email!

3. Mobile Recruiting is No Longer a Myth

For several years, the “myth” of mobile recruiting has been lingering over employers like a dark cloud. Some organizations jumped on the train but were shrouded with uncertainty as they waited to see if the investment would payoff. Other employers remained reluctant, hesitantly viewing mobile recruiting as a fad that would pass.

This holiday season, the clouds have finally cleared and the importance of mobile recruiting has become a glaring fact. Within the past year, Google confirmed that mobile search surpassed search traffic coming from traditional computers. In the US alone, there are currently 207.1 million smartphone users and this number is projected to reach 264.3 million by 2021. As smartphones continue to disseminate throughout the population, and their search capabilities become more advanced, search activity will increasingly move to mobile devices.

Already we are seeing a heavy adoption of mobile search activity by job seekers. According to separate studies by Kelton and Glassdoor, 9 in 10 job seekers use their mobile devices to look for employment opportunities. To back this up, Indeed has reported that:

  • 75% of all the clicks from Gen. Xer’s and Millennials on Indeed are mobile
  • Half of all the clicks coming from Baby Boomers on Indeed are mobile

An iPhone screen displays the hiring trend that far more clicks on Indeed come from mobile devices.


Furthermore, mobile capabilities aren’t only important for candidates. According to a study conducted by PwC, 59% of HR and Recruiting professionals believe that there is a benefit to mobile-optimized HR Technology and intend to implement such solutions at their organizations.

4. Consolidation Simplifies HR Technology Offerings

The writing’s on the wall. Employers are tired of managing disparate systems and are pushing for consolidation. According to PwC, 40% of HR professionals plan to use fewer vendors going forward. The reasons?

  • Streamlines workflows for system users
  • Simplifies vendor relationship management
  • Improves product support
  • Increases transparency
  • Integrated systems can help to uncover historical trends
  • More efficient allocation of resources
  • Enhances workforce analytics

Ultimately, these advantages allow talent management professionals to quantify the end-to-end value of their work, from recruiting and onboarding to performance management and career development. This bolsters their strategic position within the organization and promotes data-driven decisions going forward.

Drivers of Consolidation

Up to this point, integrations between applicant tracking systems and human resource management systems have been fairly limited. According to Aberdeen Group, only 29% of employers currently leverage such integrations. However, this is rapidly changing thanks to the introduction of two new trends in the industry.


Middleware (commonly referred to as “software glue”) is essentially software that allows different applications to “speak to” or “work with” one another. As HR Technology has become increasingly specialized and complex, both vendors and third party providers are beginning to offer middleware solutions that allow independent systems (HRMS and Talent Management for example) to connect with one another. These integrations are referred to as “two-way” integrations.

Although middleware can work great, keep in mind that it is not always readily available amongst all systems. Furthermore, setting up middleware requires an investment of time and resources that you must account for.

Fully-Integrated Suite of Products

To avoid the uncertainty associated with middleware, some employers are instead opting for a “real-time” solution, where talent management systems and HRMS come packaged as a single suite of products from one vendor. In fact, Forbes found that 40% of employers are actually willing to sacrifice technical features in exchange for a “real-time” solution.

At Newton, we are excited to be on the forefront of this push for consolidation. Through advanced integration capabilities, our applicant tracking system boasts compatibility across a large portfolio of products. Additionally, now that we fall under the Paycor umbrella, Newton now serves as one piece in a “real-time” solution, from best-in-class applicant tracking to innovative Payroll and HR solutions!

5. Recruiting Is Now a Priority for Business Leadership

Despite forking up billions for CRMs (see Salesforce), employers have long been reluctant to invest in systems that help manage their relationship with job applicants and new hires. Thankfully, the tide is finally turning.

Once marginalized within an organization (either relegated off to HR or siloed within a small recruiting team), talent acquisition is quickly becoming a core business strategy for leading employers. Under this hiring trend, we have seen an influx of time and resources invested into the space as management pushes for more advanced systems and processes.

6. DOL Overtime Rule Has Been Blocked!

For more on this update, check out our article here.

7. HRTech Migrates to the Cloud

Unless you have been living under a rock, you should be aware that HR Tech is moving to the cloud. However, recent reports show that it is doing so at rates far exceeding even those that had been expected. According to a comprehensive study conducted by PwC, 44% of HR department utilize cloud-based HRTech and another 32% plan to do so in the coming 3 years.

8. Manageable Candidate Flows

Based on the past few jobs reports, unemployment rates are holding steady at around 4.9% and a healthy amount of jobs are being created each month. This means that you will not have to manage a tidal wave of candidates for each job opening.

However, keep in mind that a low unemployment rate also means higher competition for qualified candidates. Below are some links to our best strategies for attracting top candidates and driving them through your hiring process:

Treat Yourself This Holiday Season with Newton’s Applicant Tracking System

As you finalize hiring strategies for the upcoming year, you may want to consider adding an applicant tracking system to your recruiting repertoire. Here at Newton, we offer a fully-featured, mobile-optimized ATS that is currently used by over 1700 employers. Built by recruiters, Newton’s simple, smart, and safe functionality drives efficient hiring practices. Interested in learning more? Get in touch before the holidays are over!

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