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Why Is It Becoming So Difficult To Get A Job?

As a candidate, you can do your bit because if you present your value effectively, there is certainly a job for you.

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Change as they say is the only constant and in the past 2 years, the market variables influencing the job search activity have changed dramatically. Earlier you as an experienced candidate never had to engage in a ‘job search’ and manage it like your job; it only meant application to jobs available through job alerts sent by portals (newspaper appointment ads have vanished totally in this digital age) or use your network of references and ex-bosses.

Many experienced job seekers who I meet have missed out on keeping up with this frantic pace; not because of their incapability but because job search is a job in itself and requires investing dedicated time like full-time employment. And is it easy to do 2 full-time jobs simultaneously? You know the answer. Also on the employer front, the change is happening so fast that even their recruiters need to be trained and upskilled. But as a candidate, you can do your bit because if you present your value effectively, there is certainly a job for you.


So how do you as a job seeker deal with the following two challenges:


1] The dynamics involved in the hiring activity has undergone a tremendous change.

2] The huge paucity of time for the job seeker.


Let us deal with both one by one:


1] The Dynamics: 


A] Direct hiring has increased: According to a white paper published by CV library 68% of the hiring of talent is done directly. While talking to HR heads, I too have gathered that only 20- 30 % of the jobs are outsourced to recruitment agencies; rest are all done directly. 

Exceptions can be few senior positions to attract passive candidates or positions with nuances of their own, but the scope of using a recruitment agency’s services is getting limited. Sources like LinkedIn or major job portals, company website and other career platforms like IIM jobs have made it easy for hiring managers to attract talent. Also a single recruitment agency can offer a job seeker only positions received as a mandate which means you need to approach multiple agencies. And finding credible agencies is a big ask because there are so many which have mushroomed. 


Advice to job seeker: Spread your search net wide by looking for ways to be discovered by employers. Develop a 2-page ATS ( application tracking system) friendly Resume (you have the option of using the services of a credible Resume writing service). Increase your independent network through LinkedIn (an engaging profile is a must) and other platforms to built your own brand as a professional both online and offline.


B] Artificial Intelligence & automation: While humans can never be replaced for many assessment factors related to the hiring of talent,  AI-backed by automation of data and social media is supporting the recruitment activity. Though these activities are yet in a transitional and developmental stage, HR managers would focus on such activities as it saves them costs on the hiring of talent. 


Advice to job seeker: Find out the coordinates of the right hiring manager and reach out directly to the employer company. There is no replacement for the human touch. Apply only to relevant jobs after validating them. Even if you are an experienced senior professional, today you can always engage through platforms like LinkedIn wherein you are not seen as a desperate job seeker but someone who is building a relationship by bringing value to the table. Develop a strong engaging LinkedIn profile. Importantly, stand out as a candidate by doing in-depth research as if you are already an employee of the prospective employer company and customise each application. For 8 job applications, you need 8 different cover letters. The mass application is a strict no-no.


C]Interviewing and assessment tools: Today video/skype interviews are commonplace. Also, besides behavourial questions to assess soft skills,  companies are using online tools to prescreen candidates. Hiring managers are focusing on soft skills as compared to hard skills. 


Advice to job seeker: Be proficient at handling video interviews. Focus on the soft skills required for the vacant position and accordingly build your case. Use a perfect interview strategy and showcase your soft skills by presenting stories of success. Avail of interview coaching if required.


2] Paucity of time: 


You as a job seeker have the following two options to handle the challenge of finding time:


Option 1 is to plan methodically and dedicate time on a daily basis to manage your job search. No compromise here. Also, you need to develop the job search management skills which also include a critical step of you pitching your candidature as a follow up to the application to receive an interview call. 


Option 2 is to outsource the entire job search activity right from developing your ATS friendly Resume to receiving interview calls to being coached for an interview through one of it’s kind job assistance service offered by Aspiration. We will manage the entire job search for you and you can continue to focus on your other priorities.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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