Today’s jobs market: an overview of the current UK employment sector. Recent government figures in October 2010 put the unemployment rate of those aged 16+ at 29.3%. Couple this with the lack of vacancies reported available by job boards, recruitment agencies and employers and what quickly becomes evident is that today’s job market is saturated with candidates. Despite recent glimmers of hope, such as the Monster Employment Index for October 2010 showing a 6% rise of online recruitment growth from September, the fact remains that more private and public sector job cuts are to come as companies further their budget decreases.
What this means for the job seeker is that competition is getting more fierce and, as a result, candidates now need to get smarter about how they approach their job search. This is particularly important for those job seekers re-entering the market from a long span of employment; with the vast amount of changes undergone recently in both the employment market and the way in which people recruit and are recruited, a great number of candidates are struggling to get to grips with an effective, modern job search strategy.
Current trends suggest that Linked In and other networking sites are the favoured means for job seekers to find work. Sixty per cent identified social networking sites as the top online tool for job searching in 2010, according to Weedle’s (weddles.com) Source of Employment Survey. That said, Weedle’s survey also revealed that job seekers increasingly favour job boards for searching and applying for work: 28% favoured this method in 2010 compared with 13.3% of respondents in 2008. And, according to WhatJobSite (whatjobsite.com), at least 53% of recruiters had used or use WhatJobSite’s job board to recruit candidates. Although these findings were the result of a small survey, they are indicative that job boards are a popular tool for both recruiter and candidate. Ultimately, what these figures indicate is that online recruitment in its various forms is still on the rise by both the job seeker and the hirer.
Whilst online recruitment is now regarded as the norm, arguably, very few job seekers understand how to turn it to their advantage; new and old flounder in a market that’s still undergoing significant change as they try to make sense of entering or re-entering the employment market. Candidates are frustrated by the overwhelming amount of information available and, consequently, struggle in looking for and securing jobs.
Below is a breakdown of the types of online tools that today’s job seekers can use to find their next role.
Job search tools available to today’s UK job seekers
It is important to have a strategy in finding potential jobs (careersandjobsuk.com) in line with your requirement and in applying for them. Given the various means with which job seekers can now market themselves, it can be difficult to identify, firstly, what these are and, secondly, what the pros and cons are so as not to miss ideal jobs and opportunities. Some of the main web-based tools are:
Having been around since 1995, most job seekers today know the basics of how to use them and recognise a lot of the ‘bigger brand’ job sites out there. With over 2,000 in the UK alone, there is a trend for job sites to specialise either by way of sector or location.
Some of the bigger generalist job boards include big names, such as Reed (reed.co.uk) and Monster (www.monster.com).
A relatively new tool, aggregators are online marketing and SEO specialists that drive traffic to job boards by aggregating all the jobs from all their customers’ job boards and thereby provide a massive selection to job seekers on one site. Job seekers who use these tools have the ability to search numerous job boards from a single web site, and are re-directed to the original advertising job board for job roles they select. Some of the bigger aggregators in the UK are Indeed (indeed.co.uk) and Check4 Jobs (check4jobs.co.uk).
An even more recent development in the online employment industry, this service for job seekers distributes CVs between job boards as dictated by demand. This is a case of the job boards working with employers and recruitment agencies via a network to direct applicants’ profiles and CVs to places where they are wanted rather than the job seeker trying to establish where their skills are required themselves.
This is the biggest social media networking site in the world, with hirers using it to source high-end professionals both on its main site and in a specialist offshoot dedicated to recruitment. Hirers are looking not only for active candidates seeking work but are also identifying passive candidates, which makes a compelling reason for having a LinkedIn presence.
However, using LinkedIn is an art in itself and requires some degree of coaching or time invested if any return is to be realised. Having a basic profile is not enough on its own. Job seekers need to ensure they not only have a comprehensive profile providing a strong professional outline of themselves but are also furthering their presence by contributing and following discussions, groups and other members to develop a network.
Thanks to Careers and Jobs UK for this article.
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