when to advertise for seasonal recruitment

Whenever an organisation needs more staff, they usually just go and find someone. The bigger the company, and the better organised the company is, the more notice the HR team generally tend to have. On the one hand we work with multi-nationals who plan their internship campaigns more than 12 months in advance for example. We also work with companies that are a lot more reactive though and need to fill vacancies as they come up.

Although as a company your requirement for a new member of staff is the most important thing, to get the BEST candidate, and make the recruitment campaign as effective as possible, it is really worth knowing how jobseekers behave, and when they look for jobs. Understanding jobseeker’s behaviour will allow you to get more applications, better applications and ultimately get you the best recruits.

1) Our candidates are not all students – they are generally young people between the ages of 16 and 25 looking for work. This can be anything from a part time position, holiday work, to an internship or a graduate job.

2) Jobseekers have seasonal trends – the graph below shows that we have up to 100% more candidates visiting Employment4students at certain times of the year. By planning your recruitment and taking these trends into account you can reach more people at different times.

3) The best candidates tend to be the most organised ones – these students start looking for part time work, holiday jobs and internships early!


– January, February and March see an increasing number of candidates
– Although April is traditionally a lower traffic month, we still have over 240,000 candidates (8,000 a day on average) visiting the website
– The peak traffic and the most applications are generated in May, June and July. July can see up to 100% more jobseekers than December
– Students tend not to look for work in August – this is their last month of Summer holiday, or they have been graduated for a few months now.
– Students start looking for internships in September. Although they carry on looking all the way to March / April of the following year, the best candidates apply and try to organise their internship in the latter stages of the first term.
– October and November see quite a few people looking for jobs, whilst December and January are traditionally quieter months, with less student jobseekers!

How Much Difference Does Timing Make:

This is a really important question! We have an example below – it is an internship which is posted all year round. As can be seen, the number of applications varies enormously throughout the year.

There is no real conclusion to this post, and although “advertise as early as you possibly can” is not quite accurate (advertising too early could mean you won’t get the interest or the applications you require), you do need to look at what other companies in your sector are doing, and understand when jobseekers will be looking for your type of vacancy.

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