REC have just brought out their latest survey and it’s good news for the recruitment industry.
However, it seems a bit much for Mr. Green to boast that unemployment is down and vacancies are on the increase thanks to the efforts of the recruitment industry. Organisations expanding their staff may feel the credit should be going to them.
This rosy picture is reflected in our own statistics on resettlement.
When compared to last year’s performance, what is striking is that despite a significant improvement in the number of jobs available, the speed to resettle hasn’t changed. This underlines the fact that even when jobs are scarce, with the right help job seekers can find a new position within 6 months (around 80% of our delegates resettle in this timeframe and 40-50% in as little as 3 months). Whilst the government statistics neatly avoid declaring this particular success measure, without credible and experienced help many job seekers are searching for a lot longer whatever the job-search weather is like.
Scarcity of jobs in a market flooded with job seekers (last year) gives power to employers and raises the barrier for every job seeker. Greater job availability (this year) gives more power to the job seeker who may be faced with a choice of job offers. Equally encouraged by a buoyant market, the levels of competition for some jobs is on the rise. In this climate the tables are turned on employers, who are challenged by increased competition for the best candidates. This in turn makes them more likely to engage the services of professional recruiters.
For candidates the key is to ensure that you are always a ‘best fit’ choice for jobs you select by:
- Only applying for jobs where you fit more than 50% of the criteria
- Knowing yourself well enough to identify employers you would love to work for
- Preparing thoroughly before applying and again before an interview
Even in a market where the power has shifted to candidates rather than employers, it is wrong to assume an automatic right to the job of your choice.
The more buoyant the job market becomes, the greater the risk of complacency from candidates. This can be a dangerous tripwire. We are not yet in another ‘war for talent’. If you have scarce skills, for now you may well hold the upper hand, but the market remains competitive and tough so no chickens should yet be counted.
Who cares to predict what the job search weather holds for us in the years to come?