IF YOU’RE looking for a job now, you’re in luck: It’s a job seeker’s market. In May 2018, the national unemployment rate was 3.8 percent – the lowest since 2000. For people considering looking for a new job, this means now is the time to get out there. With fewer people looking for work, those who are actively seeking a new job may have more job offers to choose from.
But while a low unemployment rate is good news for job seekers, it can spell trouble for employers, and the competition to hire and retain the best talent is getting tough. In a tight labor market like the one we are experiencing today, employees are more inclined to job-hop, which means talent retention is becoming increasingly important.
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With businesses looking to hire the right candidates and fast, there are a few things you can expect to encounter when applying for a job in today’s tight labor market:
Additional interviews. In today’s job market, employers cannot afford high turnover. It takes too long to hire the right candidates, and to start the process over within a year is prohibitively expensive. Employee Benefit News reported last year that it costs employers 33 percent of a worker’s annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves. This means it’s critical that all members of the team believe that the candidate is the right fit before an employer makes an offer. With this in mind, you should absolutely expect additional interviews – maybe even two or three rounds of interviews – when you are applying for a job. The whole team may want to meet you before that company decides you’re the candidate they want.
An emphasis on culture. In the same way you are trying to sell yourself as the perfect candidate to fill the open role, employers are selling themselves to you. Companies are doing more to attract candidates by offering flexible schedules and competitive benefits, like greater freedom to work from home and higher salaries. Qualified job seekers are finding work more easily, and employers are going the extra mile and offering potential new hires all kinds of benefits to keep current employees happy and bring new hires in the door.
Increased interest in referrals. Do not underestimate the power of a referral. A report by iCIMS found that 70 percent of referred employees have not changed positions since being hired. If you know someone who works at the company you want to work at, absolutely ask for a referral. A referral would be a shining star on your application and show employers that you may be the right fit for their company if a current employee can already vouch for you. The thinking here is that if a current employee has seen you in action and wants to work with you again, there is little reason to believe that you won’t be a great addition to the team.
Whether or not you have a referral from a current employee, it is critical that you have strong references ready. The low unemployment rate is only making culture fit more important, and employers are going to be interested in hearing about the kind of employee you are and how well you worked with your past teams. Endorsements and high-quality, firsthand information from past colleagues and managers are the kind of advance knowledge employers are seeking when making the difficult decisions about how to fill a position.
How can Ringside help? Using a recruiter will do the following for you:
- Find out about open positions in your market that aren’t yet made public. Get in before the rest of the job seekers even find out about the opportunity.
- Bypass an HR assistant screening applications, or worse, a computer that will remove your resume before anyone even sees it. Let Ringside get you set up on an interview by calling the hiring manager (who we have an established relationship with) directly to ensure you are at the top of their interview list.
- Get assistance with ensuring your resume is up to par, and be prepped for your interview by the best in the industry. You will go into the interview feeling more confident after having a professional interviewer help prepare you on how to answer the tough questions and the common ones that will make you stand out among the rest of those interviewing.
- Have somebody fighting in your corner for why you should be hired, why you should have the top salary and bonus, and negotiating benefits on your behalf.
Even if you are happy in your current position, it’s always smart to keep your ear to the ground. I promise you, the most successful people you know are always keeping an eye out for their next big opportunity.
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Source: US NEWS – Ray Bixler