With the unemployment rates steadily dropping in the past few years, the job market has begun to significantly change. Until recently, we had been living in a primarily employer driven job market that gave companies a majority of the power when hiring and retaining their employees. Unfortunately for them, the recent changes in our economy are causing more positions to become available with less talent to fill them, especially in the architectural, engineering and financial industries. And although this labor shortage isn’t ideal for employers, it can be great for jobseekers that are able to use it to their advantage.
Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts in order to successfully navigate the changing job market.
- Make sure to dedicate as much time as possible to your job search. Even with the changing market, finding a job is a time consuming process and you can’t get a job that you don’t apply for. Make sure to apply to multiple positions, network as much as you can and present yourself as professionally as possible when interviewing.
- Use the labor shortage to your advantage. Certain industries will have significant labor shortages in particular areas, which mean the available and qualified candidates will be harder to come by. That shortage also means that you have the chance to leverage your skillset when accepting a new position. Employers will be more willing to negotiate salary and PTO/benefits packages in order to hire and retain their top talent, which can be especially helpful when looking for your next move.
- Don’t think that just because employers are entering a labor shortage that you will automatically get hired. If you’re not qualified for a position or interview and present yourself poorly, the employer will most likely choose to wait for the right candidate rather than hire the underqualified or unprofessional one even in a labor shortage.
- Don’t assume you’re the only candidate that an employer has in play for a particular position. Just as you would weigh your options during the job search process, so is the employer. You do have leverage in terms of negotiating certain aspects for a position, but ultimately the employer has the final say. They can withdraw their offer at any time if they feel things are no longer a good fit, so make sure to be smart and appropriate when negotiating your job offer.
As the economy continues to change, so will the job market. And as a jobseeker, now is the time to be aware of your power within the job market so you can capitalize on the opportunities that present themselves.