1st Sept 2023
3 Min Read

The September surge is coming – or is it?

Charlie Feasby
Charlie Feasby
People & Change

Depending on who you ask, September is either the best time of year to hire and be hired or just another month in the recruitment calendar. Whatever the truth is, here’s how to attract the best talent and make sure they stick around.

The September surge is trending on TikTok and the advice from recruiters is to refresh the CV and update your LinkedIn profile. Oh, and have you written a cover letter? Best do that ASAP, too.

Not that you shouldn’t be doing those things, but it’s also possible that this trend might be slightly over-exaggerated. Don’t worry, we were also shocked to discover something on TikTok wasn’t 100 per cent true ...

There is evidence that, when it gets to September, we tend to have a ‘back to school’ attitude similar to New Year’s. We reflect on the previous year, our learning and development and consider moving to something new.

The end of the fiscal year is also fast approaching, and that means companies are starting to think about how they can have the strongest finish – and that can mean bringing on new talent.

But in actuality, the job market fluctuates throughout the year. And while there are jobs that get advertised more often in September, other times in the year see similar or even greater peaks – January to February for example.

That said, if you are thinking of recruiting, then it’s a good time to ask yourself a couple of questions: how do you attract talent and how do you make sure your existing talent doesn’t start looking elsewhere?

Be authentic

An estimated one in three employees leave a job within the first 90 days, with 32 per cent of them citing the company culture as the reason for going. So how can businesses meet the expectations of new starters? It starts with an incredible onboarding experience combined with a strong employee value proposition (EVP).

Director of consultancy Alastair Atkinson, our go-to person for all things EVP, says this process should start well before a new starter’s first day. “Make sure all your recruitment materials reflect the language and values of your EVP and keep it authentic – that’s key. Authenticity is how you can genuinely attract the kind of people you want – both in terms of experience and values. If they align with your values, they’re more likely to stay and be a cultural fit.”

Be consistent

So you’ve got a good onboarding process with strong materials – what’s next? The employee experience doesn’t stop a week after your new recruit has joined. That experience needs to be consistent months and, preferably, years down the line. It can feel like that’s out of your control, but, as Alastair says, your line managers are there to continue that onboarding process.

He adds: “A lot of this is dependent on line managers. Ask yourself: do they know your onboarding experience and are they consistent? Are they prepared and well equipped to do so? You can have the best materials but if your line managers aren’t confident or don’t care, the whole system fails.”

Don’t get complacent

The September surge, whether real or false, is all the more reason to be keeping an eye out for the best hires around. But don’t get complacent – otherwise you may find your existing talent starts looking elsewhere. With authenticity and consistency in your onboarding experience and EVP, you’ll make sure employees, both new and old, stick around for the long term.

If you need help building your onboarding experience or EVP, check out our handy guides:

And if you’d like to find out more, email alastair.atkinson@scarlettabbott.co.uk.

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