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Are you feeling the September surge? – The HR Dept

You may not have heard of the September surge, but you have probably felt it before, says Peter Jones of The HR Dept Swindon & Wiltshire.

The ‘September surge’ is a relatively new term, used to describe an uptick in recruitment activity in, you’ve guessed it, September.

2023 recruitment budgets coming close to lapsing, employees feeling unsettled after a summer break, productivity drives in the lead-up to the festive season – there are a number of reasons for the phenomenon. What should you do about it for your business, though?

Protect your current position

A good starting point is to consider your current team, and the threat of losing key players.

September is a good time to reconnect with your employees after summer holidays and, for some, the distractions of having the kids at home for a prolonged period.

Book 1-2-1s with each team member to see how their summer was and set some goals for the months ahead. These are also a good opportunity to get a feel for their current sentiment towards working for you.

You could also use LinkedIn to gauge this sentiment. They are unlikely to be as blatant as to have the “Open to work” badge on their profile (although some might), but a slew of new connections, or posting activity, could be a sign that they are trying to increase their visibility for job opportunities.

Of course, the feeling might be mutual and you are pleased if they move themselves on.

But if you want to keep them, use the intelligence gathered to re-engage good performers if you can. Setting them some new, interesting work or arranging a team-building session to bond with their colleagues are two ideas for your consideration here.

Grow your team

Once you have appraised the effect, if any, of the September surge on retention of your current team, you can consider if you can take advantage of the surge yourself to grow.

If you have growth plans, now is a prime time of year to act on them. If necessary, perform a quick review of your hiring process to check it is fit for purpose. We can help you do this if you want some expert outside opinion.

There are the normal channels that you may use for recruiting; but just as you might informally check in on your current team on LinkedIn, now could be a good time to do a search and see if any talent that appeals to you has marked themselves as “Open to Work”.

While you are at it, you can add the ‘Hiring’ badge to your own profile to spark additional interest.

Peter Jones runs the HR Dept in Swindon and Wiltshire

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