Labor Day Job Search


Whether you see Labor Day as the end of summer, a time for great back to school sales or as it’s true history as a celebration of labor and the U.S. workforce, it is a significant signpost for hiring.

As you would expect, hiring managers and human resource professionals come back from their August vacations re-energized by their time away and anxious to fill their openings. Likewise candidates, with kids back in school, refocus on their job search or initiate a job search at this summer-ending transitional moment. reported that 75% of employees are more likely to search for a new job upon returning from a vacation.

What other seasonality surges are there in hiring?


March –

After the January and February doldrums, there is a significant surge in hiring in March. This first quarter slowdown is due to job-hunters waiting for their bonus payouts. It is hard to leave those bonus’ on the table if you make a job change shortly before they are given, and hard, too, for companies to compensate job searchers for this lost money. Both sides find it best to start a new job after the bonus’ have been paid.

Summer –

This one is counter intuitive. People assume summer job searching and hiring is slow. Not true! Because traveling is easier with less risk of being derailed by winter storms, and taking vacation time or being out of the office is more common, candidates are more receptive to in-person interviewing. Just like summer is a change-of-pace for many in their out- of-office time, hiring managers look for something different to do at work which often equates to working on hiring. Summer also seems to highlight the need to hire. Hiring managers might be willing to work longer hours in the dog days of winter but doing that in summer is not fun. Filling an opening means a more regular schedule to enjoy the summer for the person doing two jobs.

End of December –

What?! If you are a hiring manager working two jobs because you can’t fill an open position, AND your position has been approved in the budget for the new calendar year, might you use some of those slow days between Christmas and New Year’s to find a person to make your life easier in the coming year? Of course you would! And, they do.


In its initial conception in the late 1800’s, Labor Day was a time of recreation and renewal. The Department of Labor website explains that the first Labor Day called for street parades to demonstrate “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” to the public, followed by recreational activities and amusements for their families. So while you are enjoying yourself this weekend and celebrating the American workforce, polish off that resume, contact your executive recruiter and take advantage of a busy hiring season.

The recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates are ready to help.

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