Q4 is generally the most challenging time to hire as candidates are less motivated to change jobs when they are focused on upcoming travel, family time, and New Year cheer. When building your hiring plans, it’s essential to keep this in mind and prepare yourself for a dip in candidate movement come winter.

To hit your big Q4 hiring goals, your team will need to get strategic and creative. Below you will find a few suggestions on how you can make Q4 more impactful: 

Dig into barriers you may be creating.

Identify areas that you are willing to make compromises on. Below are a few areas that you may want to consider – 

  • Are you focused on hiring in the Bay Area, Seattle or another central hub? Have you experimented with a remote model? The companies that see the best conversion rates are investing in hiring the right folks anywhere. Hiring trends have changed due to the pandemic, and most companies will need to adapt.
  • Do you have a lengthy interview process with a robust take-home assignment? Data shows that when presented with many options, candidates may avoid “homework” in an interview process unless they specifically want to code or work in a more natural environment during evaluation. 
  • Are you hesitant to pay top of the market cash (especially for senior candidates)? Companies across tech are busting through bands and paying more cash than we’ve ever seen at the seed and A stages. 

Pump up the volume. 

Map out candidate “interested” rates (message → conversation) and work backward to get a sense of how much volume you’ll need on the sourcing front to lead to a healthy pipeline (especially for evergreen roles like engineering or sales). Likely you’ll need to increase the volume of messages going out to hit the goal, and you may need to add additional resources.

Use the time to build talent collateral.

Write blog posts, update messaging, build talent pools of target big fish hires for next year, build an in-depth equity pitching deck, among other things. Slowing down to build resources may seem counterintuitive, but these tools can help to speed up the funnel come Jan when candidates become ready to move.

Write explicit start dates. 

If you are sourcing now but open to January or February start dates, experiment with putting this in the subject line of your emails and see if it improves conversions.

Experiment with marketplaces.

Many of our portfolio companies are starting to invest more time in tools and marketplaces where active candidates find roles. This can be a great solution to experiment with for mid-level hires, especially when seasonality comes into play. Triplebyte, Hired, and A list remain the top contenders when we survey the portfolio on tools they engage with.

Focus on fewer, high-impact roles. 

When sourcing is difficult, we recommend that recruiters or hiring managers focus on fewer roles at a time. Often talent mapping 100 to 200 key folks to go after for one role and figuring out the most strategic approach is more effective than lightly making progress across a variety of roles.

Invest in diagnostic measures with current external recruiters. 

Are you overloaded with recruiters or external resources? You may want to take the time to calibrate or diagnose with these recruiters deeply what’s working/ not working. Q4 is an excellent time to clean up excess agency partnerships and focus on optimizing the ones performing well to be the best they can be.