Whether you are a growing/changing business needing a fresh intake of labour, or someone who is or will be shortly looking for a new job challenge, understanding how the job market is working in the present economical conditions can only increase your chances of success. A combination of new technology, social networking and a ‘buyers’ market have lead to significant changes in the way that people advertise and look for work. The following is a brief outline of some of the main factors in this new market.

 Job Centre Plus

 As the name implies the new job centres are much more than the job centres of old. They are not there to just advertise local jobs. They now cover benefits and most other factors of unemployment. This means that the always stretched and pressured advisors have to deal with a whole lot more than just helping job seekers find work. At present they catagorise job seekers into three stages:

  • Stage 1 =0 – 13 weeks unemployed
  • Stage 2 =14-26 weeks unemployed
  • Stage 3 = 26weeks + unemployed

The Job centres are coming under greater and greater pressure to reduce the numbers of job seakers they have on their books and offer a variety of outside sourced assistance to help their customers find employment

They also have the power to suspend job seeker allowance if job seekers don’t take reasonable employment offered

 Local Papers

 A cheap and quick option that allows you to advertise not only ye vacancy but also your success to the local community. However be warned it can lead to a mountain of CV’s which need your attention. Not only will you receive replies from genuine candidates, you will also get applications from job seekers who must show that they are applying for jobs to avoid having their allowance withdrawn.

If you’re applying for a position advertised in a local paper, remember that your CV will be one amongst a large pile. You need to ensure that someone has read it. The best way to ensure this is to ring them and ask if they received your CV and if so what were their initial thoughts. It shows you are genuinely interested

 Agencies, consultancies and job boards

 The role of the recruitment agency has changed considerably. It has become more and more of a numbers game for the vast majority of them. They are also having to fight harder to get their candidates in front of the company looking to recruit. Not only are they in competition with other agencies, but also with social media (see below) and companies using job boards on the internet directly thus circumnavigating the Recruitment agencies entirely.

The agencies use of internet Job boards such as total jobs and job site has also had a major impact on how the job market works, If they do not have the appropriate CV’s on their own books they will look at registered CV’s on job boards before advertising the position. To produce a manageable spread of possible CV’s they will often only look at CV’s that have been uploaded in the previous day or so. Therefore if you register your own CV with an internet job board you should update it (change file name, add a comma or two) every day to ensure agencies come to you about roles they have.

If you are looking for appropriate agencies as either an employer or a job seeker, a good place to start is the Recruitment and Employment Confederation web page (www.rec.co.uk) where you can search for agencies in your area that specialise in the role you are interested in.

 Social Media

 The use of internet based social media for recruitment is growing. Probably the market leader in this is www.linkedin.com Job seekers can search companies they are interested in and track all announcements they make, including vacancies. You can also use it to find people who work for different companies and find out if you know someone who knows them who could make an introduction for you (Like word of mouth – below). There are many groups covering every possible profession on linked in and these also are used to advertise positions. Sites like this will only become more prolific in the recruitment market as they combine real time CV’s, references and referrals without the expense of more traditional methods.

 Word of mouth

 The oldest and, some would argue, still the most effective way to find a good recruit / company to work for. Decried in some arena’s as an old boy /old school network, it is open to breaches of employment law by restricting the candidates you are willing to interview for a role. Be aware of this and ensure you follow good practice in deciding the role you are looking to create/fill and the skills, experience and knowledge of the person you are looking for to fill it. Also be aware of the dangers of taking on someone a friend has strongly recommended (especially if it’s a family member) only to find they fall far below the standards you expect. If you are looking for a new role, don’t miss the opportunity of asking customers, suppliers, competitors and people you meet at social/networking events if they know of any suitable positions. If you don’t ask them, how will they know you are looking?

 The job market has changed and will continue to do so as new ways of advertising positions or looking for vacancies come to the fore. A good recruitment agency or HR consultant will be able to advise you on the best way to find the candidate/role you are looking for. Sticking to the same old way you have always used may restrict you to a fast reducing pool of people or roles.