In a recent article published by Fast Times, writer Gwen Moran offered a snapshot on how hiring has changed in the aftermath of COVID-19 – and insights for job seekers to consider in navigating those changes.
“From remote onboarding to a shift in where we network and look for job opportunities, there have been fundamental changes in how we get our next gigs,” she writes. “And even as the promise of vaccines and immunity give us a glimpse into a future where we’ll be back in the office again, some things are here to stay.”
So, what is the ‘new normal,’ at least for now…
Employers will rely more on internal candidates: While this may not be what an unemployed person wants to hear, it is good news for people who are currently employed and want to move into a higher position. Instead of looking outside their organization, they should find their employer looking inward more often to fill open positions.
“Such internal focus means that employees will need to become more adept at navigating these systems, including ensuring that their skills, training, and goals are up-to-date, to find their next roles,” Moran said.
Geographic walls are falling: With more people working remotely now than ever before, it means job hunting just went global. In response, job seekers need to adapt by broadening their search mindset, according to Gillian Kelly, a career coach and the head of talent marketing at Outplacement Australia.
“Organizations are recognizing that their talent pool is potentially wider than it was previously,” Kelly recently noted in Forbes Magazine. “‘Work from anywhere’ roles are becoming increasingly available, yet many job seekers are still only looking for roles in their own backyard.”
Kelly says that means it’s time to start looking more broadly “beyond what’s just in the surrounding suburbs around your home” and instead consider organizations and industries hiring where you can offer value and make a case that you’re the person for the job.
Beef up your digital presence: With employers relying on the job seeker’s digital footprint more often than ever before, job seekers need to be diligent when it comes to their digital presence. While a printed resume remains important, especially when it comes time to reorganizing your skill-set for a specific opening, CEO of HR platform Findem Hari Kolam says that candidates need to “move the focus from their résumés and place it more on developing their digital footprints to get noticed.”
Kolam advises job seekers to take a fresh look at their social accounts, curate or create relevant content, and develop content—such as a blog post, introductory video, or contributed piece—that will demonstrate their thought leadership and give them an edge over the competition.
“Sure, a résumé is a nice-to-have and required for some applications, but it’ll just be table stakes in the 2021 job market and not enough to outshine a competitor,” he says.
Kelly agrees that job seekers need to “level up” their digital calling cards.
“If you want to be one of the lucky people chased by hirers to explore potential job opportunities, you need to ramp up your digital presence,” she writes. “Start by auditing your digital footprint and assess the messaging it’s sending. Are you attracting the right type of searches? How strong is your influence and credibility in your industry? Now is the moment to begin investing time in your own PR.”
Plug up skill gaps: Kelly notes that with technological innovation completely reshaping entire industries and vocations, skill gaps are emerging and rapidly increasing.
“Now isn’t the time to rest on your laurels,” she writes. “If you are not growing, you are going backward. You need to invest in your skills if you don’t want to be left behind.
Consider this: Some data from Gartner found that one-third of the skills listed in an average 2017 job posting would not be relevant by 2021. “As roles are reimagined, and companies need employees with skills such as problem-solving and adaptability, those skills should be evident on your résumé and in any content you create,” notes Erica Volini, global human capital leader at Deloitte.
The good news is job seekers don’t need to retrain in a completely new career, but they should be continually upskilling. Most industries are evolving, not evaporating. Job seekers are advised to watch trends on the horizon in their fields or associated fields and take the necessary steps to upskill if they want to remain relevant and valuable – including undertaking micro-credentials, a short online course, further study – or even reading the latest books on their industry.
In short, as job seekers move into the 2021 the key word is truly adaptability.
The same holds true with companies – and as they shift to more remote working arrangements and more virtual ways to connect with potential employees, that means new demands on job seekers to get noticed when it comes to hiring time.
For more details on these trends and more ways you can adapt to the changes in the post-pandemic job market, check out the following articles: