For recruiting, as with most things in life, timing is everything. Call someone at the right time and you’ll have a candidate who is ready and excited about changing jobs. Call at the wrong time and you could have someone who writes a nasty LinkedIn post about how much they hate recruiters.

This delicate balancing act is something talent acquisition specialists know all too well. However, during the holidays things can get even trickier. Candidates might be easier to reach, but they also might be less inclined to talk to you. To help you navigate the complex world of holiday season recruitment we’ve put together a list of five do’s and don’ts.

1) Don’t contact people on the holiday itself

While it can be tempting, do not contact a candidate during the actual holiday unless you are very, very sure that they are open to talking that day. Recruiters who call people on Christmas become the stuff of legends – the bad kind.

2) Do use holiday cheer to nurture your talent pipeline

If you have a candidate database you are managing it can be a nice touch to send people messages wishing them a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc. Candidates like to know that you see them as people, and not just as prospects that need to be placed.

3) Do invite prospects to company Christmas parties

Where appropriate, try inviting prospects to Christmas/holiday parties at the companies they are considering working for. This is a great way to introduce them to the team and culture they might be joining.

4) Don’t push people who are too busy

The holidays can be quite stressful, so if a candidate says he/she is too busy schedule your follow up for the new year. The last thing you want to do is add extra stress to someone else’s life.

5) Do use social media to gauge openness to change

Social media activity tends to increase during the holidays. People share pictures of parties, lists of gratitude, and resolutions for the new year. Each of these things can serve as good indicators of how open someone is to changing jobs.

Bonus: Do source during the holidays

You’ll probably spend less time calling, meeting, and interviewing candidates. Use the downtime to source prospects and build up your hiring pipeline.

Shameless plug: Hello Talent is the perfect recruiting tool to help you organize and share candidates you’ve sourced. Sign up free today!