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Getting the timing right: Which month is best to apply for a tech job?

Posted: 2015-06-29
Mark the calendar to go to a new jobThe tech jobs of today require strenuous hours and some serious sacrifices, so setting up an atmosphere slated for success is the best way to proceed. Amongst the various hacks on how to bag that elusive tech job is also the oft neglected aspect of timing. It's true that being at the right time at the right place can up your career. While most candidates concentrate on fishing out the perfect references on penning an impressive cover letter, they fail to bear in mind that snagging the job can, at the end of the day, one thing is central: timing, timing, timing. 

The January - March window

Many experts concur that there are certain times of the year when it is extremely fruitful to hunt for a job. The "right" window is still open to much debate but it's generally assumed that in the tech sector, January to March, tend to be most conducive. This is because most people tend to quit early on in the year for a couple of reasons. One is that employees want to spend some time impressing their new organisations, and for that they need time, before their annual bonuses, which almost always takes place towards the end of the year. 
Very often, even if there is a vacancy, companies often tend to delve into it after the winter months simply because as mentioned above, it is a rather distracting time for most. Not only is the hr team likely to be more focused in the New Year, but it is also assumed that a better, more rejuvenated pool of tech talent will be available once the holiday season is done and dusted. What's more, it's also gathered that those applying in this time will be able to join immediately, and not go on leave. This means that the candidate will be able to slip into their responsibilities quicker and assume the mantle. 
Another reason for applying in the New Year, and early on in that, is that most companies fix their budgets at the beginning of the new fiscal year, which means that their funds are not dented. So if you manage to impress, it will bode well for you financially. Therefore, if you are looking to make most ROI from your job search, early January is the right time to focus on applications across digital, big data and analytics, areas which are gathering momentum especially in London, Birmingham and Brighton in the south; Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Sheffield in the north; and, Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, especially with regards to permanent jobs.

Early January and August - the golden periods

Most UK courses end around November, and the marks are out in a month or so. Therefore, many also regard it important to apply as quickly as possible. This helps you steer clear of the attack of college graduates--and competition, whether you admit it or not. This is why if you take the trouble of working through your holidays, it might pay off. After all, if your CV is in your hirer's inbox when they join back after holidays, how bad can it be? There is also the chance that not all companies follow the rule of freezing hiring during the holidays.
Another period that many consider plum for the tech industry is in the second half of the year but well before Christmas--from around June to August. Many assume that this is the time when senior staff is on holiday and so it's a bad time but this is untrue. Studies show that the trajectory of tech hiring rises during august.  This is because hirers end up assuming that competition from other firms is low and that the chances of hiring a success story at a lower cost is high.  A Morgan McKinley 2014 employment monitor for UK corroborated this and depicted a rise in the number of vacancies posted but a decrease in applications. 

Times to avoid

Winter (typically, December) is by far the worst time of year with just 1.3 new job seekers for every new role in the UK. That's because no one wants to quit close to the holiday season, and Christmas, a family time, also includes a fair share of expenditure--a period when most prefer to be stress-free. So if you are in no hurry to move, hang in for a little bit more.

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