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The year of the candidate – 5 ways you can make the most of today’s job market

Allen Associates, News & Blog

Today’s job market is the perfect environment for Candidates. In fact, top applicants only stay available for 10 days before getting hired. During record levels of employment, companies are finding it harder than ever to recruit and are creating a battle for talent amongst top firms. Here’s how, as a Candidate, you can take advantage of the situation to make sure you get the best possible offer:

1. Know your value

Do you recognise this situation? You’re looking for certain salary, but the amount specified on the job advert is lower than expected. Or maybe you’d like to work four days a week, while an Employer is looking for full-time. In this case, think about how flexible you’re prepared to be. Research the average salary for your role, make sure your requirements are realistic and consider whether you’d change your mind for your dream role. While you should respect the needs of the company you’re applying for – they might be able to match your expectations, so be confident in your approach when it comes to negotiating. Now more than ever, it’s important to be know your value.

2. Take the time to choose the right role

If you’re in the right industry with the right skillset, you can afford to be picky and don’t need to jump at the first opportunity. When you’ve invested time in the interview process, it can be difficult to take a step back and evaluate. So, have in your mind a list of what you’re looking for. Do you like your potential new boss? Is there room for progression? And does the company have a good reputation? You may have heard that it’s easier to find a job once you’re employed, however, job hunting takes time. Once you’re in a role, this is unlikely to be your main focus so before you sign your next contract, make sure it’s the right one for you.

3. Aim for the top

In today’s Candidate-driven market, the best Employers are driving change to make themselves a more desirable place to work. When you’re searching for opportunities, look for organisations who go the extra mile to attract talent, beating off the competition from other businesses and indicating their commitment to people. Research shows that three-quarters of Employees want a more tailored benefits package, whether it’s flexible working or staff outings - and more than a third of Candidates admit that perks and benefits are among their top considerations before accepting a new job. When you’re doing your research, think about your preferences and have this in mind.

4. Develop your skills in line with shortages

The key to gaining control over the job market is honing your skills so that you’re in demand. To do this, take a look at your CV and plan your career progression by developing experience that makes you invaluable to Employers. This could be by specialising in a particular area, or by making sure you have the right soft skills. Increasingly, Employers are placing a greater emphasis on qualities such as teamwork, leadership and creativity. All of these are indicators that, even if you don’t have the correct experience, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and learn on the job. Always keep learning, creating a ‘standout’ CV that will place you at the top of any applicant shortlist.

5. You don’t have to stay in your current role

You should always demonstrate loyalty to your Employer, recognising the fact that they’ve offered you an opportunity, the chance to join their team and develop as a person. However, if you’re not happy in your current role, remember that there are multiple opportunities waiting for you. For Employers, retaining existing talent is just as important as attracting new talent – it’s something that any forward-thinking company should be aware of. Therefore, if you feel as though you’ve hit a dead end at your current workplace, don’t be afraid to consider other offers. Now, more than ever, it’s possible to make the switch, changing your role to something which motivates, fulfils and challenges you.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 we opened our first London office, to service Clients and Candidates in the capital.

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