Clearly, 2017 was a year of change in the job market. The improving economy and market record highs have made for low levels of unemployment. Just a few short years ago, employers held all the cards, but that has changed. In a tight labor market, candidates wield power that they didn’t have until recently. The job market is projected to continue its current trajectory into the New Year. Here are some trends that we can expect to continue and to increase in 2018:
The role of social media in recruiting. A recent study found that 70% of employers are screening candidates via social media before hiring them. 54% have decided not to hire a candidate after screening their social media profiles, and 57% are less likely to consider someone for an interview if they can’t find them online.
The role of social media as a job search tool. The importance of LinkedIn cannot be overstated. With more than 450 million members, LinkedIn is the place for job seekers to be. Not only do recruiters and hiring managers look to validate candidates via their LinkedIn profiles, LinkedIn allows you to advertise yourself to millions of potential employers and clients.
A rejection of ridiculous employer demands. Some ludicrous employer demands were borne out of the Great Recession. Come in, meet with nine different people, prepare a presentation, give us your full salary history, how about a DNA sample? In a tight employment market, top talent will not comply with much of this. They have many other options. Hiring companies will need to rethink their recruiting strategy, and reframe it as wooing candidates rather than filtering them out.
The resume will still be relevant. Despite LinkedIn, digital resumes, and social media, the “old school” Word or PDF resume will still be relevant. As in recent years, the resume of 2018 must focus on achievements and accomplishments rather than on tasks, duties, and responsibilities.
A focus on “what’s in it for them.” More than ever, focusing your pitch, your resume, and your interviews on the problems the hiring manager has will be critical to success. People want to know what you can do for them, not a list of reasons why you’re so great.
The importance of soft skills. What sets you apart is your personality, soft skills, and fit with the company culture. Your resume, cover letter, calls, and in-person interviews should reflect that. Be sure that when you’re communicating with recruiters and hiring managers that you come off as a unique human being, and not as an emotionless robot.
Better perks. With a dearth of candidates, and a desire to recruit and to retain top talent, companies are striving to make work seem less work-like. They’re doing this by offering perks like free food, onsite dry cleaning, gym memberships, or paid parental leave. Don’t mistake perks for company culture, though. It is easy to be lulled by benefits, but it’s still important to vet out the culture before you make a decision.
Happy 2018 to all!