The ways that recruiters and tech managers source, engage and hire top technology talent continue to evolve and change. So if you’re itching for a new career opportunity in 2017, you may need to implement new strategies to ensure that you land the position you want.
If it’s been a while since you navigated the job market, here is a list of trends that will impact the way you search for employment in the coming year.
Decline in Regular Full-Time Jobs
Several factors will come together next year that will lead to a further decline in regular full-time jobs, according to John Fugazzie, workforce director for Hudson County, New Jersey.
“For starters, M&A activity will remain strong, eliminating many mid-level jobs for tech pros,” Fugazzie said.
Indeed, a recent survey by KPMG shows that mid-market deals will dominate in 2017, with the tech industry leading the way. The continued outsourcing of IT services by the federal government will shift many full-time jobs to large government contractors, impacting Baby Boomers. And finally, companies will increasingly rely on freelancers and contractors for specialized expertise.
Strategy: With fewer full-time jobs to be had, taking a temporary route may be the best way to keep your skills current and eventually land regular employment. Fugazzie also suggests that tech pros acquire sales and consulting skills, because you never know when you may need to market yourself as a freelancer or work multiple jobs.
It is common knowledge that referred candidates have better odds of getting hired. But after several years of widespread data collection, we now know that referred candidates are actually 14 times more likely to get the job, according to Gerry Crispin, founder and principal of CareerXroads and a lifelong student of recruiting. Crispin says that referred candidates constitute over 40 percent of new hires at top companies that are regarded as “great places to work.”
Strategy: Naturally, scoring a referral is the best way to land that new job more quickly. But since disgruntled employees are unlikely to refer their colleagues, asking a potential employer about their referral activity and hires can help you spot a bad work environment before you take the plunge.
Employers are yielding to job hunters’ requests for greater transparency and upfront information through the application of new technology. “More employers are using artificial intelligence technology in the form of chatbots to message prospects who want to know more about compensation and benefits before they apply,” Crispin noted.
Strategy: Crispin encourages tech job hunters to be more assertive in asking questions about an open position and the culture via social media and a company’s career website, so you don’t end up wasting your time on a position that isn’t the right fit.
Hiring Managers Conduct Their Own Screening
Even if you’ve been referred by a current employee or a recruiter, a hiring manager will probably undertake their own review your code samples, online profile and portfolio before they agree to an interview.
Strategy: With hiring managers increasingly conducting their own research, don’t underestimate the importance of having a strong professional brand and online presence.
Security is a Must-Have Skill Set
While the demand for specialized cybersecurity pros will continue to soar, Fugazzie suggests that soon every tech pro will need the ability to view their duties and responsibilities through a security and privacy lens.
Strategy: With security becoming a baseline skill, the sooner you master intrusion detection, secure software development, or data security, the sooner you’ll get your proverbial foot in the door.
The Candidate Experience Becomes a Priority
At last, many employers are making a concerted effort to keep candidates informed of their status and progress throughout the hiring process. “There’s improved sensitivity to the candidate experience, and acknowledgement that treating candidates poorly can impact the ability to attract top talent and earnings,” Crispin said.
Strategy: Employers should give candidates the same amount of consideration they’d show to employees or customers, Crispin noted: “If they don’t, then that should definitely raise a red flag.”