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Why we all need to keep the jobs market moving

Caroline Doherty, MD, Capability Jane, explains why it’s so important candidates keep applying for roles

Despite all odds, the jobs market is booming.

According to KPMG and The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the jobs market is at an all-time high with vacancies growing at the fastest rate REC has ever seen.

Initially, there were concerns the jobs market was going to collapse once we went into lockdown, but the industry has bounced back to be stronger than ever. At Capability Jane, we’re certainly operating at pre-pandemic levels, if not better.

Employers are hiring and feeling optimistic about the future. However, it seems this sentiment isn’t being shared amongst candidates.

However, REC has stated that there is a significant skills and candidate shortage. In fact, they believe that the decline of available staff was steep, the quickest for one-and-a-half years. Reasons for this drop include the large volume of roles available, the lack of EU candidates and a general overall reluctance to search for jobs.

Waking-up the market

This is where the challenge lies. To keep the jobs market moving, we need more candidates. Without candidates, employers will stop recruiting or will reallocate hiring budget elsewhere within the organisation.

In previous or more settled times, employers would be prepared to wait a bit longer for the right candidate, knowing that there may be a lack of skills or relevant people for that role. Now, employers want to move quickly, they want to ensure they are operating at their best, especially in September when all restrictions should be lifted.

Waiting until September

Businesses want to hit the ground running once normal service is resumed. It’s going to be competitive and the need to stay ahead will be crucial. As a result, we’re seeing an increase in demand for digital marketing and finance roles as businesses align themselves to market conditions.

In addition, no longer do employers have to worry about additional hiring factors, such as office space or hiring candidates that are based locally. Instead, they can work to flexible or hybrid working models and extend candidate search areas.

From a candidate perspective, we’re expecting the market to be flooded with people looking for new roles in September, which is great news, isn’t it? Why are we talking about keeping the jobs market moving?

Of course, we always need candidates – no matter what the time of year – but if we don’t keep the jobs market moving now, come September we’re at risk of a highly competitive space where many candidates will be competing for fewer roles. We need to get the balance right.

Right now, there are more jobs than candidates. Come September, there may be more candidates than jobs. We need to redress the balance.

Employer stability and candidate reluctance

These are unpredictable times, which is why we understand candidate concerns that it’s risky to look for a job now and safer to stick with their current employer. What if the employer hits a financial bump in the road the minute you start working there?

In response to that, if you’re applying for a role via a jobs board, we suggest doing thorough due diligence on an organisation before you submit your application or go for an interview. Alternatively, going through a recruiter can help alleviate those concerns.

At Capability Jane, we only deal with financially robust organisations or scaleup businesses that have secured funding. As we work closely with all our clients – liaising with them on a daily basis during the recruitment process – we have the ability to really understand and get to know their business.

There are a lot of dynamic, growing businesses out there. At a time when everything gives us pause to reflect and rethink, it’s not a bad time to see what’s available – you never know what opportunities they may present.

Skills shortage

To echo REC’s concerns, there is a skills gap, which is widening and the market does need to respond to that. According to research from Monster, 87% of employers say they struggle to fill positions due to a lack of skills. This is another reason we need to widen the field when it comes to candidates.  If you have skills that are in demand, then this is a great market right now. Go for it!

These are unpredictable times, which is why we understand candidate concerns that it’s risky to look for a job now

With all that’s happened over the past year, it’s probably no surprise to hear that it’s soft skills employers really want from candidates. These skills include problem-solving, dependability, collaboration and a flexible mindset.

Combine this with the fact that employers are starting to look more at skillsets as opposed to qualifications on a CV, and this presents a lot of opportunity to upskill or reskill.

Ok, so we know everybody is suffering webinar fatigue, but there are a range of experts running some great courses right now. Joy Burnford’s Confidence Conversation podcast series helps nurture soft skills through increasing confidence, and City CV regularly run webinars on getting the best out of your career.

We also post regular blogs on our site offering tips and advice to help you reskill or change careers.

Believe it or not, this is a great market right now, with a wealth of opportunity and we want everybody to be part of it. What are you waiting for?