Why the Christmas break is the perfect time to apply for a new job at a London startup...
Oooh, a graph. Contain your excitement dear reader - we'll get to it shortly.
We at Zonino HQ have been speculating about whether the traditional Christmas slow-down happens in tech companies and engineering teams in particular. It's well understood that things can take a little longer than usual to happen around Christmas, not least because it's often hard to get key decision makers together. But building software products is a different beast. The code doesn't much care for mince pies.
There seems to be a belief that hiring slows down around Christmas, too. But is this really the case in tech startups? Is it possible that this isn't driven by a slowing down of the company but a lack of interest from candidates?
This brings us to the above graph. This shows the trend in searches for the term 'jobs' since 2004. Note that every year there is a noticable dip at Christmas (give the image a click to be whisked away to an interactive version - the spike in October 2011 coincides with Steve Jobs's death). It seems that people are less eager to look for jobs in December and that means it's an ideal time to apply; there's less competition. Now I know we're all up to our elbows in turkeys, tinsel and festive onesies at this time of year but it's a great opportunity to brush up that CV and fire off some applications.
What do the startups say?
Startups really are eager to hire around this time. Here's HR and Operations Manager at Mendeley, Zuzana Borosova:
At Mendeley we're expanding following our acquisition by Elsevier in April and 2014 will bring some really exciting projects. We really encourage applications over the Christmas period and we have been interviewing and hiring a lot of people.
You can't argue with that. There's a very real need out there and it seems like applications aren't going to fall on deaf ears while everyone is away.
Bethan Davies from The App Business has a similar tale of finding it tricky to hire people in December and affirms that the recruiting machine doesn't stop at the first sign of a John Lewis ad:
At TAB we recruit a lot of contractors and we have found that by Christmas most of them will already have a new project in place for January or they tend to be finishing up projects during December so don't have the time to look for new roles. At the moment we are recruiting for several positions and regardless of the time of year we are always on the look out for exceptional talent to join our fast going company.
There's really no shortage of demand it seems. Here's a final thought from Dan Shellard, Co-Founder and COO at Qubit:
We have new hires starting just before Christmas and straight away in the new year. We hire all year round and we don't stop needing top talent over Christmas. It's a great time to apply!
I think that sums it up rather nicely. It seems that any slow down in hiring over Christmas isn't being driven by the startups. Startups usually can't afford to slow down for any reason, even flying reindeer. The primary factor that leads to less hiring over Christmas is the lack of interest from applicants - and that makes it a perfect time to stand out and secure that dream job at a rock and roll startup. Zonino currently has over 250 tech vacancies that are open right now.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
PS: Big thanks to the lovely people at the awesome startups who contributed to this post: