Through my recent shopping expeditions and resulting rationalizations (to others, not myself), I hear myself saying things like "it would be WRONG not to buy it since it's on sale" or "if you don't buy it now, it may be gone when you decide you want it". I said those things today. And that is how I ended up with a pair of slammin' eggplant patent leather flats.

Stores stock up for the holiday season and then need to move out their merchandise when it's over so the spring stuff can come in. They are motivated to sell. Their motivation meets my American need for more crap and we have a win/win. Anyway, that isn't my point. This time of year, retailers will do what they can to make it easy for you to say "yes". Once a year sale, stock up sales, prices slashed, etcetera.

Recruiting is sales too (well, it's not just sales but there is a huge element of selling involved) and I wonder why we don't do a better job of helping people say "yes". Granted, we have fixed costs around employment so we can't advertise a "signing bonus bonanza" or anything like that. But where stores know they will have people coming in for sales, with gift cards and with returns; when they have their attention, they appeal to their tendency to rationalize (see my quotes above). They think "you are here so how can we make you say yes to more stuff?". They are in the head of that customer at that moment in time.

Right now would be a perfect time for recruiters to get into the heads of prospects. Think about this:

1) End/beginning of year bonuses paid

2) New Years' resolutions

3) Significant holiday/winter vacation expenses

4) Time off to gain a little perspective

5) Friends and relatives asking you how things are going at work over a hot toddy

6) Lots o' time to work on the resume

7) Looming prospect of the return to the office with a pile of work on ones desk/inbox/whatever

And who is taking advantage of all of this? Nobody that I have seen. I'd love to tell you that I have done this but I get caught up in this time of year just like everyone else. I'd like to make a commitment that I will do this next year (and I might), but developing a seasonal recruiting messaging toolkit is a big deal and I have plenty of other things on my plate now as well. Here's just hoping that when the school year ends and people are more inclined to make a geographical move, that I'm prepared. And when the big tech companies pay out their bonuses, I'm prepared. So many milestones, so little time.