Plenty of New Year’s resolutions include searching for a new job. And people don’t just add it to their lists because they hate their current job. Overall, ZipRecruiter found that nearly half (49%) of Americans who are actively looking for a new job said they love, or at least like, their current job. But 68% of employed job seekers believe that the types of jobs available today are better than what was available before.
For those looking at greener pastures, there’s good news. The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey found that 21% of the over 11,000 employers across all industries in the U.S. they surveyed are planning to hire in the coming quarter. And no need to fear that AI or automation is eliminating jobs. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report of more than 10,000 HR and business leaders found that 77% said they will either retrain people to use new technology, or will redesign jobs to better take advantage of human skills.
So if you’re actively looking for a new position or planning to hunt in 2018, here are some things to keep in mind that will impact the way you search and land that new job.
TOP SKILLS AND HOW TO SHOWCASE THEM
Dan Shapero, vice president of careers, talent solutions, and learning at LinkedIn says, “The skills employers are looking for are changing rapidly, so it’s important for professionals to constantly learn the emerging skills in their field as well as new skills that open up entirely new career options.” LinkedIn recently added a feature that notifies members what skills are trending among people with the same job title. But Shapero suggests, “By switching their thinking from “what is my title” to “what are my skills,” professionals can broaden their job options.”
Joachim Horn, CEO of SAM Labs, says current job seekers can better position themselves for 2018 career opportunities by making it a personal goal to become more proficient in STEM. “Whether it’s taking on a specific subject like computer programming or psychology, learning how to analyze data more effectively, instructing others to use technology,” he says, “signing up for a course like statistics or basic fundamentals of coding, watching an online tutorial on argumentation, or even working on an independent project at home like a DIY kit, are all great examples of ways to build STEM abilities.”
SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie contends that the soft skill that will get more play in the coming year is curiosity, especially as AI gets smarter. But it’s still flying under most people’s radar, given that only 5% of more than 13,000 workers polled by SurveyMonkey and INSEAD say curiosity “should be in the top two most rewarded employee characteristics to help your company change and adapt for the future.” Communication (36%), self-motivation (29%), commitment (28%), and professionalism (27%) were the top three soft skills listed by workers. Yet, as Lurie points out, “You know who’s really good at commitment and professionalism? Freakin’ robots.”
WORKING WITH AI
Get really prepared to work through artificially intelligent means of searching for jobs. The 2018 Entelo Recruiting Trends Report that surveyed 1,143 talent acquisition professionals found that 62% of companies plan to spend on AI-powered recruiting software. Of those, 86% plan to spend on intelligent sourcing software.
That starts with Google. Susan Vitale, the CMO of iCIMS, notes that earlier this year, Google announced Google for Jobs. As part of that program, recruitment software providers such as iCIMS have partnered with Google to improve the job search experience through machine learning capabilities. “What this means for job seekers is that it will be much easier to quickly search and apply for a job with a simple Google search,” she says. Google’s partnership with Paysa means that it’s also easier to search for a salary range for those open positions.
But it also means there are a plethora of platforms designed to match you with jobs that you might never have considered otherwise. For example, with Leap.ai, you have to do a self-assessment that focuses on sussing out your strengths (i.e., collaboration, leadership), skills (UX design, sales, marketing), and personal values, as well as job preferences (working in teams, independent, remote). TalentWorks also uses AI to optimize your resume and application and also provides human coaching (for a fee), while Talify’s college student users take personality assessments, and SquarePeg’s users take psychometric tests designed to make better matches to jobs where you’d actually perform your best.
ADAPTING TO DIFFERENT KINDS OF INTERVIEWS
Elaine Varelas, managing partner of Keystone Partners, insists that video interview expertise will be a must. “Every level of candidate will participate in AI video-screening interviews,” she states. “And they will need to be skilled at answering questions with no visual cues, feedback, or encouragement.”
Lindsay Grenawalt, head of People for Cockroach Labs, says that exercise-based interviews are becoming more common for non-technical workers. “Rather than guess if a candidate can do the job based on their answers to behavioral questions,” she says, “exercise-based interviews ask for candidates to show [what they can do].”
That means job-based simulations in the form of case studies, individual exercises, and presentations. “Since each interview focuses on different areas, collectively, says Grenawalt, the interviews are mini snapshots of the candidate’s capabilities.
“Candidates get a clear understanding of what it would be like to work at the company and in that role on a day-to-day basis,” she says. Fear not, she says. Because they require a high degree of engagement, they are more collaborative and a better experience overall than traditional interviews in which candidates have to sweat through a series of stress-inducing questions. Grenawalt recommends taking advantage of all of the information companies are making available on their hiring and interview process to shine in this kind of interview.
Matt Glotzbach, CEO of Quizlet, says it will be important for candidates to be able to articulate and emphasize skills that allow them to work side by side with new technologies. “Showing to future employers not only that you understand the technologies of today, but also that you’re actively learning new skills, topics, and subjects will be key,” says Glotzbach. Be prepared to discuss microcredentials, boot camps, self-driven learning projects, or side hustles, he says. “Learning doesn’t stop when you receive a diploma.”
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