I heard that companies in U.S. freeze hiring.

  1. In general, what months/seasons in each year do companies have more openings and less to no openings?

    Does the answer to the above question depend on the types of jobs and the particular industry? For example, does the general picture vary much from software engineer to quantitative analyst, data analyst, and statistician, from IT to financial to pharmaceutical industries?

  2. If I submit my resume during their freezing hiring period, what will likely happen to my application, be ignored thereafter, or be considered when they start hiring again?


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    If you're going to downvote a question, you should explain why it's a bad question. – user10911 Oct 28 '13 at 0:51
  • Exactly, I don't see what's wrong with the question. Could someone explain? – Masked Man Oct 28 '13 at 6:18
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    This is going to be industry specific. For example, retail has a lot of seasonal jobs during the November/December season. Is this what you are asking? Right now, this question is effectively asking for the equivalent of multiple studies/books for meaningful answers as it is quite broad. Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much. – enderland Oct 28 '13 at 13:16
  • As Joe Strazzere and enderland said, this will depend on the types of jobs and industries. For example, hiring for government jobs (and those offered by companies holding government contracts) is often put on hold near the end of the government's fiscal year and ramps up after the new fiscal year begins (for the U.S. federal government, the fiscal year begins October 1). – GreenMatt Oct 28 '13 at 16:36
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    There are more openings in months when you are not looking, and less during months when you are. It is not the actual that changes just the perception of it. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Oct 28 '13 at 17:43

Many companies in the US do not freeze hiring.

1. Well -of course- hiring varies by industry and arena: You don't really think that construction is busy hiring in December, or retail sales in March, do you?

Take a look here for historical numbers by month: http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/industry The differences are easy to spot when you look at, say, Jan 2012 vs Sept 2012, even though the general patterns are similar.

There's a nice analysis on monster: http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/getting-started/job-search-recruitment-cycles/article.aspx

"Major hiring initiatives may follow close on the heels of the holidays and summer. "The big months for hiring are January and February, and late September and October," says Testa. "Job seekers who make contact right at the start of these cycles have the best chance of being hired."

You'll also have to consider the company's arena and their fiscal year; for example, a company that survives through online sales is likely to add staff some months before the holiday sales hit, to tweak their site for the reality that most retail-type sales occur during the 6-week holiday period (this year, it's down to less than 4 weeks, though, which should make for possible poor retail performance.

Companies will also hire for the coming fiscal year, which often means that opening are approved in December -- but so few people are in the office in December that the hiring usually starts at the first of the year.

In addition, it's very likely -- but not guaranteed -- that when a company is adding jobs in one area, they're adding in another; i.e. expanding IT jobs will usually suggest expanding accounting, sales, marketing, etc.

More to the point, though, you're going to find that this isn't consistent even with a given company; it depends on more factors than can be generalized. But you can view a few years' worth of job creation history, by segment, at http://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/ceshighlights.pdf


2. I suggest you do not send your resume during a hiring freeze. Resumes tend to get "stale" and once they have open positions, they will tend to look at the new resumes first. There are some exceptions where companies will enter resumes into a database, and actually search the database when they have open positions; however, that's not as common as you might hope, and almost all new positions are going to be advertised in some way.

If you do submit your resume to a company rather than for a targeted job, do so during the start of one of the more likely hiring periods ... i.e, the first few weeks of January, and right after Labor Day, can work well if new jobs are being created. After Labor Day, you'll also have the advantage of any summer hires going back to school, leaving openings in companies that hire students and new grads.

Oh, and while you're waiting for that optimal time to submit your resume, look for specific job openings, and get your on-line info up-to-date and appealing; as a contract worker, I get a lot of contacts from linkedin and careerbuilder, without much extra effort, mostly because my particular work experience contains the right keywords.

  • Thank you so much, Debra! What is it like for applying for internship, instead of jobs? Are the timings similar? – Tim Oct 28 '13 at 17:21
  • The patterns for internships are completely different, especially as some large companies open apps for those spots months in advance. Unfortunately, it seems much harder to predict, as there's so much variance company-to-company. Some companies have a specific "college student" segment of their employment section of their website. If I were seeking an internship, that's one place I'd go; and, of course, most colleges have some sort of employment office that lists job openings of outside companies. Student career fairs, unlike general ones, are often worth attending too. – Debra Oct 29 '13 at 23:01

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