Don't worry, you're not the only one finding the job market tough.....

Don't worry, you're not the only one finding the job market tough.....

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about 1 month ago

by Russell Adams

Don't worry, you're not the only one finding the job market tough.....

​Don’t worry, you’re not the only one finding the job market tough……

Many of my everyday conversations are spent informing people about what is happening in the market. Many of the people I talk to ask me what the market is currently like for job opportunities which is interesting really, particularly given the adverse headlines about the sector that continue to hit the press. In fact it probably reflects the conflicting signals that they may be picking up during their job search. As has been widely reported at entry level and junior management level there continues to be a shortage of staff however as you climb the salary bandings the inversion changes then to an excess of candidates. 

However, I think for most candidates even at a more senior level, when they first come onto the market to find another position they are sometimes pleasantly surprised there are a quite a few roles that appear to be out there matching their skills and experience. However I think for the majority, this mild euphoria soon dissipates when they realise just how competitive it is in the market with a large number of individuals chasing relatively lower job volumes. 

Sector wise, there are some understandable disparities with QSR fairing relatively better and some other areas such as mid-market Casual Dinning finding it incredibly tough. Certainly no one is finding it easy and having to fight for hard pressed consumers spending. Whatisclear is that, in specialist area such as e-commerce, logistics etc. the demand and supply equation between roles and relevant candidates is a bit more balanced. This is further reflected across a number of other head office functions but none could be described as buoyant.

The other interesting dynamic is the role of LinkedIn; the increasing dominance of the site for candidate sourcing is actually increasing the overall pool of candidates for each role. Although only 20% of candidates might class themselves as “active”, close to 80% of individualswouldconsider other opportunities. This pool who are not actively looking for a job but would be willing to discuss new opportunities with recruiters/organisations, dramatically increase the actual size of the talent pool. The point here is that in reality, the 20% active candidate pool are actually competing with close to another 60% of the candidate pool who are also happy to be approached about job roles. Unfortunately, the increased accessibility of these individuals has only served to drive competition for roles even higher and it has been argued in a number of recent surveys that clients perceive passive candidates to be more attractive to them.

So what advice can we give? For most senior and middle managers the competition in the market means it is proving very difficult to move sector and even sub sector.  Most organisations are risk adverse currently when it comes to appointing positions and this is understandable given the very challenging economic environment.  My advice to people is to consider businesses where your skills and experience are going to be most marketable and transferable. I would also encourage people to use a broad strategy to access these roles, whether that is through their own network, agencies, LinkedIn or their target Employer’s website.  With such fierce competition you will need to work smart and hard to beat the competition. Our website has some advice around these aspects should you want more information.

Without a shadow of doubt, for the vast majority of middle and particularly senior management candidates the market out there remains tough. Whilst the numbers are certainly negative, as I sit here and write, I am personally optimistic about the rest of the year, hopefully as inflation continues to fall, rates finally start to come down and the economic picture improves the market will inevitably pick up . In the meantime I appreciate it is scant consolation but remember you are not the only one!

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