As the year draws to an end and people get ready for Christmas many companies are starting to wind down. However, it is vital for businesses to look towards the new year. If you’re looking to hire new staff, then you are most likely facing the question of when is the best time to hire? We have weighed up the pros of hiring in Q4 and in Q1 to help you make the best decision.

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Pros of hiring in Q4

Hiring in Q4 means you have a head start in the new year

Now is the perfect time to make some great hires now and build a really strong team. Come January, your team will already have an edge over other businesses who are waiting to hire. Having the employees for a bit longer also means that you can have new starters up to speed by January. This means they can be working on projects instead of sitting in orientation sessions and training.

Hiring in Q4 means there’s decreased competition

The fact that fewer companies are hiring means there will be less competition from other businesses. The large number of job postings in January means that people often chose this time to look for jobs. However, there is also a higher chance that your job advert will get lost in amongst the other adverts. It may also mean that other companies who can offer more benefits than you attract the best candidates.

People want job security

It is often the case that December really adds up to be an expensive month. The cost of celebrating the holidays, coupled with the fact that most people get paid earlier means that January is often a tight month financially for many people. The knock-on effect of this is that potential candidates will be looking to have secure employment lined up. They will also likely be attracted by jobs that have higher pay than their current role.


It is commonly believed that the hiring slump in Q4 is down to companies having spent their yearly hiring budget. However, the reverse can be true. No company wants to be left with money from the budget leftover in case it is removed next year. Therefore, if you have money left over then now is the perfect time to use it.

Hiring in Q4 means the interview process is better

The fact it is holiday season means there is often less pressure on technical teams and projects are coming to a completion. This means that it is much easier to be able to schedule interview times. Additionally, more effort can be given to preparing for interviews and interviewing more candidates. Hiring managers can also dedicate more time to getting to know potential candidates and discussing things such as culture fit.

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Pros of hiring in Q1

New starts

Many people are looking to launch the year with a new job and a fresh start. Therefore the talent pool is normally larger at this time of year. People know that lots of companies look to hire at this time so know there will be more job options out there, which draws a larger crowd.

Hiring in Q1 means fresh budgets

The new year often means a fresh budget to work with. This is great as it allows you to be a bit more flexible and potentially attract more applicants.

The holidays give people time

People are often rushed off their feet throughout November and December. Having some time off work gives them time to reflect and polish their CVs in preparation for applying to jobs. If you are planning to hire in January then it may be a good idea to put out adverts in December before the holidays so that they are there for people who choose to job hunt over the holidays.

People take less time off

The fact people have just come back off holidays means that less annual leave is taken. This makes it easier to get hold of decision-makers for interviews and speeds up the interview process.


Many companies pay bonuses in December, or at the least calculate bonuses for people that have stayed until the end of December. This means that many people hold on until January to start looking for jobs as they don’t want to forgo this bonus.

A new year means new starts

Many new projects are launched at this time of year and strategies are set, so you may have a clearer idea of the type of person you need and the skills they need to have.


We hope that you found this guide useful for helping you make informed hiring decisions. At Ignite, we are specialists in recruiting the top tech, data and digital talent. If you would like specialist advice and assistance with your hiring, then give us a call. If you’re using this time to develop a hiring strategy then we are more than happy to discuss this with you.

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

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