While the retail industry and customer service functions across industries scramble to fill seasonal workers for the holiday season, the ability for any business to recruit engaged candidates during the end-of-year holiday rush can be strenuous. According to a Microsoft study , people lose concentration after just eight seconds. Combine that short attention span with the rush of gift shopping on Black Friday, upcoming vacations and endless holiday songs, and this could spell disaster for any recruiter’s sourcing strategy.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Some of the best candidates a recruiter can find come from referrals. Candidates who are submitted by a top performing team member generally take less time to hire, onboard faster, are more engaged and have better retention rates.

If you’re looking to fill an important role toward the end of the year, consider adding additional incentives to your employee referral program. You can offer team members a free lunch for the entire month, cash incentives and additional vacation days and more. Get creative to engage your current team; encourage them to communicate with and listen to their contacts and you’ll truly reap the rewards of a team member’s vast network.

Baby it’s Cold Outside

Depending on how long your typical time-to-hire is for certain roles, it’s helpful to front-load your sourcing efforts to ensure a second and possible third touch point in selling an opportunity to a potential candidate. An average recruiter may shut down around Thanksgiving to take time off to spend with their family. A great recruiter schedules a holiday email to go out reminding a potential candidate that the perfect opportunity exists and you’d like to speak to them as soon as possible.

There are only so many family stories someone can listen to at the holiday dinner table before they turn their attention to their email app. While many recruiters will go silent during the holidays, your holiday email will break through and give food for thought, potentially landing a hire that otherwise would have gone cold during early December.

My Only Wish

Great recruiters don’t just wish for the perfect candidate, they actually go out and find that person. They embody a ‘no excuses’ attitude and understand that even when their pipeline slows down and they’re truly experiencing a ‘slow season’ there are a number of things they can do to ensure future success.

Great recruiting teams focus on their branding to attract top talent. You should be constantly updating your LinkedIn and Glassdoor profiles with engaging pictures and information that capture exactly what it’s like to work at your company. Review your job descriptions – are they painting a picture for your future hire to see what your wins are, what challenges you face and how they will be crucial to the success of the team?

An average recruiter may steer clear of agencies because of the associated costs. A great recruiter knows when to utilize an agency partnership to their benefit and when the work can be accomplished on their own. Recruiters juggle many different roles and time-to-fill can be crucial for the hiring managers you’re collaborating with. If you find a reputable agency that promises to provide great talent during this season, negotiate a fair initial rate with the organization in order to evaluate the quality of candidates they send you. If the rate for the first two or three candidates placed is reasonable and you receive quality candidates, you’ll be more comfortable scaling and leaning on that agency again in the future.

Leveraging your college graduate networks for recruiting is another smart strategy. There are students who are graduating in December and others who are seeking to line up opportunities after they graduate in May. During a slower recruiting period, you should forge relationships with alumni organizations, college advisors and campus career administrators to ensure you’re leveraging the best and the brightest entering the workforce.

Recruiters who go above and beyond to ensure they’ve exhausted every single resource possible to fill a role will be rewarded with success and admiration from their colleagues. The best gift you can give yourself (and your hiring managers) this holiday season is a pipeline full of top candidates.