Every year, the hiring process evolves. Organizations prioritize finding different traits and skills in candidates. There are new technologies that job seekers need to be familiar with to stand out. Changes in the economy and workforce shift how much power job seekers have in their job search.
As a career service professional, you need to be on top of the latest hiring trends. By educating yourself, you can filter out what information is relevant to your students and better prepare them for their job search. But given all the information that is out there, this can become overwhelming.
Luckily, most of this year’s hiring trends are playing out in favor of job seekers. Help your students make the most of the hiring landscape. Here are three hiring trends you need to focus on to give your job seekers unique advantages:
When unemployment is low, many job seekers assume there are no available jobs. But this isn’t the case. In fact, it’s employers who often suffer the most when unemployment is low. They have open positions, but there are too few people looking for a job. As a result, hiring professionals cast a wider net for talent and consider candidates they might not otherwise.
According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment stands at just 3.7 percent. This is the lowest it’s been in over a decade — good news for your students. Since most of the current labor force is employed, organizations are focusing on new graduates looking for their first jobs.
Because of low employment, there’s a lot of power in your students’ hands. It’s your job to help them use it wisely. First, let your students know they should never feel pressured to take the first job offer they receive. Right now, they can be picky. They can negotiate for a better salary or more benefits, or they can wait for an offer from another company.
Also, encourage students to apply at companies they thought were out of reach. There are some organizations that have hiring traditions such as only recruiting from Ivy League schools. But when unemployment is low, these companies might be willing to consider other types of candidates. Your students need to be proactive and demonstrate what they bring to the table.
Traditionally, organizations controlled all aspects of their employer branding. Job seekers could look at the company website and read about its mission and values. They could read employee testimonials. But in the back of every job seeker’s mind, there was a bit of doubt about how much they’d learned was true.
Now, we’re in an age of higher transparency. Sites like Glassdoor allow employees to review their companies without fear of retribution. This gives your students a better understanding of the realities of working for an organization.
Social media provides even more insights. Hopefully, you’ve already told your students to follow company’s they’re interested in on social media. Then have them pay attention not only to what the organization posts, but also how employees respond. If employees are engaged and share what their employer posts on social media, it reflects positively on the workplace.
Your students can also identify employees to reach out to via social media. If they come across an employee with a similar background, have them send a message asking to meet and discuss the pros and cons of working for the company. This will give your job seekers more information than they could ever learn via employer branding material.
Young people tend to be short-sited. Students get so excited about a possible job they don’t take the time to consider what their options will be down the road. This is a big mistake, especially considering that many organizations are rethinking how they approach employee development.
In fact, a 2018 survey by LinkedIn found that 94 percent of employees would stay with a company longer if it invested in their long-term career. Seeing how important learning and development is for employee retention, employers are trying new strategies to see what meets their team’s needs. Overall, this is a great thing for talent. But some changes companies make won’t necessarily align with your students’ career paths.
This is why they need to have a conversation with you about their plans for the future. Once you’ve helped them refine their list of must-haves, they can better evaluate the learning and development programs at different companies.
Encourage your students to ask questions about ways the organization is updating training and career support services. Having this information will show your job seekers if a company will prepare them for the next step in their career.
Recommended Reading: Make sure your students are up-to-date on the latest interview trends!