The media have dubbed it “The Great Resignation” as millions of people around the world have either quit their job or are planning to in the near future.
Some have blamed Brexit, others blame furlough or the wider implications of the pandemic. The truth is there’s been a perfect storm combined with multiple factors which has led to a significant candidate shortage.
Furthermore, these challenges aren’t affecting any sector in particularly, it’s widespread and affecting every part of the UK. In fact, UK job vacancies hit 1.1m between July and September, the highest level since records began in 2001.
Whilst this is hugely challenging for businesses, it does pose opportunity for employees, particularly those who are wanting to take the next step in their career.
Many organisations are looking at alternative ways to attract talent, but simultaneously are investing significantly in retaining their existing staff. So, whether you’re just starting out in your career, looking to progress within your current company or wanting to try something new, we’ve put together a short guide for each situation.
Kickstarting your career
In the current climate, employers are having to accept that it’s unlikely they’ll find the finished article and are in many cases, willing to take on people with transferable skills and the right attitude. This is fantastic if you’re in the early stages of your career and are lacking experience on your CV.
There are some key things you can do if you’re in this situation and looking to secure a job in your chosen field.
- Decide what you want from a career – knowing what you want from both an employer and a role is the first step in helping you with your job search. With over a million vacancies on the market between June – August it’s best to narrow down what you’re looking for to a couple of options. Remember, you don’t have to tick every box to apply for a role, but having both the passion and confidence that you’ll be able to grow into it will help you stand out.
- Identify your strengths and transferrable skills – Lacking in experience isn’t the end of the world if you are able to evidence your transferrable skills. These are what you’ll be expected to draw on at interview so spend some time thinking about both your soft and hard skills as well as what makes you different from other candidates and prepare some real-life examples you can use to back up what you’re saying.
- Work with a recruiter – Recruiters often have long standing relationships with their clients which are built on trust. At Human Resourcing, we take a consultative approach meaning we take time to understand what your goals are and where your strengths lie and can use this information to connect you with our clients. It’s much more likely you’ll secure an interview based on a referral like this compared to sending your CV in blind.
Progressing with your Current Employer
Recruiting from within can be a good option for both businesses and employees. For employers, internal recruitment can save time and money, strengthen employee engagement. There are also lots of Government initiatives for recruiting apprentices and entry level roles so businesses can nurture their existing talent whilst also getting support with recruiting lower skilled positions.
However, the pandemic has been the catalyst for a real shift in attitude for many employees with many wanting more from their employer; more money, more flexibility, more recognition, the list goes on. In such a candidate driven market, employers are having to listen to what their staff want much more so if you’re able to make a strong case to change jobs internally or apply for a more senior role, now is a great time to go realise your ambitions.
Before talking to your employer, you should prepare what you want to say including identifying exactly what it is you want from a role, does it exist in the company or is there a case for creating it? The more work you put into creating the case, the more of an edge you’ll have so consider what the benefits to the company will be and talk about those too.
A total career change
As previously mentioned, employers are starting to widen their talent searches to include people with transferrable skills and are investing more into on the job training, which means if you’re looking to switch sectors and/or roles entirely, now is an ideal time to do so.
Here are some things to consider before making the step:
- Think about what you want from a career – this will help you to identify a role that will give you career satisfaction and which will have longevity. Start by asking yourself what you enjoy most about your current role as well as what it’s missing and then start looking at a variety of possibilities that fill those gaps. Speaking to people who work in the sectors you’re interested in can also be beneficial as you can hear their experiences and decide whether it’s right for you.
- Identify your strengths and transferrable skills – unlike someone who is just starting out in their career, you’ll have lots of work experience you can draw upon, you simply need to identify the most relevant skills and strengths to the new role you’re applying for. Having examples to refer to in interview will be key so prepare these in advance.
- Engage with a recruiter – In such a fast moving market, working with a recruiter who has their finger on the pulse of the latest opportunities and strong connections with their clients will make a huge difference to helping you secure a role. They can also help make the transition into a new career much smoother as they can advise you on what training or personal development you may need to strengthen your application.
It’s been reported that 80% of businesses and other organisations are planning to take on more staff over the next 12 months, so if you’re ready to take the next step in your career, now really is the time!
We’ve been helping people reach their HR career goals for 20 years so you could say we’re experts in our field. If you’re looking for a personalised service and want support in finding your dream HR role, we would love to hear from you.
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