8 hot job hunting trends for 2014

Working remotely, increased use of technology and how an old-school approach could be OK.

job hunting trends in 2014 Finding that perfect job is a common New Year's resolution. In fact, a recent study by Right Management, a firm specializing in global talent management solutions, indicates that 83 percent of the North American working population may be searching for a new job in 2014. With that staggering number in mind, Allison & Taylor, a company that provides reference and background checking services, has identified eight top job hunting trends that job seekers should consider when beginning their hunt for that new position in 2014.

Technology plays an ever-increasing role in the hiring process

Continuing a current trend, job seekers will see an online application process for most mid-sized to large companies. One of the reasons this is so popular is that most companies are now using applicant tracking software – the computer simply sifts through information in the system for résumés whose contents meet the current job opening’s criteria. Look for online applications to replace papers completely in the foreseeable future. Your electronic résumé is about to become more important than ever.

The old ways sometimes bring results

While “technology rules,” you may yet be able to counteract this trend to some degree. It’s still feasible to target where you want to work, dress in your finest business attire, print out your résumé and go door to door to possible employers. Their receptionists may take pity on you and hand deliver your résumé to the hiring manager. (Recently three of our clients told us they found the job of their dreams this way – their online application efforts had met with no success.) So, by all means pound the pavement – you just might be successful in bucking online application trends.

More consumers are finding assistance from employment-related organizations like Workplace Fairness

Workplace Fairness creates and maintains the most comprehensive, online one-stop-shop for free information about workers' rights. Resources on the site capture the power of technology to educate workers, employers, legal services and community organizations; foster a community of advocates who believe that fairness works; and promote the fair treatment of workers through public policy.

Working remotely and freelancing has become the norm

Many employers have discovered the way to attract the best talent is open up the employment pool to candidates all over the nation (and the world) without requiring anyone to relocate or to work in a bricks-and-mortar environment. The world is shrinking due to technological advancements, and savvy employers (and employees) are taking advantage of the fact that you can live in one time zone and work in another.

Expect to be screened through social media, video interviews and electronic reference systems

Your electronic footprint is becoming critical. Employers now routinely run a Web search on candidates, looking at their social media accounts and professional affiliations online. Take care about what you post to your accounts, and evaluate them from a professional perspective to make sure the content is appropriate. Be aware that many employers are also using electronic reference systems, which rank an employee's performance on a scale system. While this approach may prove comprehensive and factual, it has the downside of limiting the opportunity employers have to favorably assess a candidate. Make sure you’ve negotiated the terms of your reference upon departure from any company to insure the right information comes across. Also, take the time to practice your on-camera interview skills; live video interviews are becoming the norm, particularly for introductory interviews.

Your references will become more, not less, valuable

Though many people treat their reference list as an afterthought, it is of the utmost importance. Your résumé will get an interview, but it’s the report your references provide that will win you the job in a close race with other qualified candidates. Hiring managers generally have a surplus of eligible candidates and will take the time to carefully examine candidate’s credentials. It has become critically important that your reference list is considered, with full contact information, and presented as a matching and professional addendum to your résumé.

Demographics in the workplace are shifting

Many people in upper-level management are “boomers,” meaning they are now hitting retirement age. This translates to more employment opportunities at all levels of management. Bear in mind, however, that this means keeping in close contact with your references becomes increasingly important. If that key reference retires, and you don’t have his or her current contact information, it could be detrimental to your job seeking process. Make sure you keep in close contact with your references.

“Boomerang” hiring intensifies

It pays to stay in touch with former employers. The employment market is shifting again, with employment rates on the rise. Companies that may have had to lay workers off in recent years are now looking to increase their numbers, and many are more than willing to rehire old employees. This is true for a number of reasons, e.g. the employers know what type of employee they are getting based on past experience, the rehired employee may have learned some new skills in the interim, etc. Allison & Taylor and its principals have been in the business of checking references for corporations and individuals since 1984.
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