Job seekers have just two weeks to apply for a role in order to start in January

Job seekers have been given a two-week window of opportunity to get their CVs out there – if they want to land a role in time for the New Year, a recruitment firm has advised. In order to start on Wednesday, January 3 – the first day back at work after seeing in the New Year – applicants need to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later.

Data from recruiter Michael Page shows that, on average, it takes 33 days from a candidate’s first application to signing on the dotted line, plus a one-month notice period – meaning the prime time to apply for a January start is during the next fortnight.

Job seekers may want to take note of these timings, as a study of 5,000 UK workers revealed almost a quarter (22 percent) want to kickstart 2024 with a new job. Of these, 40 percent say they are waiting until the New Year to apply for a new role.

But applicants holding off until January could miss out, as more than half (51 percent) of those involved in hiring say they want to get the ball rolling in the Autumn, so their new recruits can “hit the ground running” in the New Year.

Doug Rode, Managing Director UK&I at Michael Page, part of FTSE 250 PageGroup, said: “We know that people like to make New Year’s resolutions, and January feels like the natural time to make a big change.

“But this data shows that when it comes to landing your dream new job, it can actually be advantageous to get ahead of the game.

“In fact, smart businesses will be thinking about hiring now, so that new starters can kick off in January in order to get maximum impact for the new year. That means that the savviest hiring managers are likely to be locking down their new recruits now.

“Taking control of your career and applying before the end of the year could make all the difference to your job search, with other job seekers missing out on great opportunities by waiting until 2024 begins.”

More than half of survey respondents (53 percent) said the new year represents a new start, which makes it the perfect time to embark on the next chapter of their career.

And 38 percent think it is beneficial to start a new role then, because it allows them to set goals for the year ahead.

The data also revealed that pay (50 percent), work-life balance (40 percent), and the chance to develop new skills (33 percent), are the top reasons why workers want to start afresh.

And money is talking louder than ever before, with the highest proportion of workers (26 percent) expecting a healthy five to 10 percent salary increase in their next role.

Meanwhile, a significant 13 percent of workers said they would expect a hefty 30 to 40 percent salary hike in their next offer.

Working styles matter to job seekers, too, with 60 percent keen to consign the 9 to 5 to history, by applying to companies with flexible start and finish times.

And 44 percent are actively seeking out firms with four-day working weeks, which they believe to be a far more appealing prospect.

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Additionally, almost half of workers (48 percent) have come to realise they will need to seek a new job in order to climb the corporate ladder, with this ambition underpinning their 2024 job hunt.

However, 45 percent of job seekers would be tempted to stay put if they received a counteroffer from their existing employer, according to the findings, from OnePoll.

Doug Rode added: “A quarter of the UK workforce are set on starting afresh next year when it comes to their career.

“And there is plenty of opportunity out there, with almost a million jobs still available in the UK, according to recent ONS data.

“We see a lot of competition in January for roles, with many workers trying to realise their resolutions – but what candidates may not realise is that October can be a brilliant month to get on the front foot with their search, and beat the post-Christmas rush.

“And when it comes to counteroffers, it’s worth taking plenty of time to think it over. If you have gone through the effort of securing an exciting new role, with great benefits and plenty of opportunity, there is likely to be a good reason.”

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