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The 'October Factor' every job seeker should know about

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

If you're either out of work, between jobs, a contractor seeking a permanent role or just really keen to secure your next role, then you should be aware that October is a great month to get in front of potential employers. It’s almost akin to entering the property market chain-free with nothing to sell.

That’s because it’s very hard for employers to prise someone away from another permanent role in October/November without having to buy out their bonus, and every new hire that requires compensating for loss of bonus will mean less money to go around for the team that’s been there all year. Of course, there are always some exceptions made, but for the most part, companies find it really hard to hire new talent externally at this time of year. That's unless they’re out of the market, from an industry that typically doesn’t pay bonuses or are willing to walk away from any bonus accrued.

Most medium to large firms won’t even let their hiring managers entertain a buy-out from September onwards, which means they can’t get new staff through the door until after bonuses are paid. Bear in mind that this is usually between January and March (depending on your role and industry), and that you may then need to add anything from 1-3 months of notice period on top (or even more for the most senior roles). This is clearly too long to wait if you’re a People Leader with a team already close to burn-out.

So my advice is to make sure the firm you have applied to, or are interviewing with, is fully aware of your employment status and/or the fact that you’re amenable to joining without a bonus buy-out, because it could make all the difference when it comes to beating your competition to an offer.

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