This could have been one of the shortest articles I have ever written, but we'll pad it out a bit! These are our five reasons why:
1. Work levels in law firms tend to drop off as we approach Christmas. As a result, although you may send in a great CV full of promise and opportunity, the partners will be looking at their staff disappearing off shopping when they can and not showing high productivity levels and wondering whether they can afford you.
2. Interview arranging tends to be a total nightmare. One partner will be away (shopping), another will be off to their daughter's nativity play and getting them together to interview you at a time convenient will be virtually impossible.
3. Candidates start to think that their current firm are really nice and question their sanity for thinking about leaving. This happens fairly often just before Christmas, especially around the time when the senior partner starts to look human again when she announces the Christmas party!
4. CVs get overlooked as HR and partners are off Christmas shopping (or at least surfing Amazon).
5. Responses from firms and candidates can be sporadic to say the least. Communication can be difficult.
Applications in January are usually better received by employers - businesses are usually a bit quiet as work levels stay low and people have time on their hands. Similarly it is the time when candidates make New Years Resolutions to change jobs and start to look. If you think about it - if candidates make such decisions, it is very likely partners of law firms make similar decisions on recruitment as well and start looking around. The busy season each year is April to September, although 2016 has been a bit more random than usual. For most of the year there is never a particularly good or bad time to apply for jobs per se, but December is fraught with difficulties...
Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.