The New Reality: Workopolis Reveals the Challenges and Opportunities of a Thriving Job Market
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Toronto, Ontario (January 31, 2006) – With the 2006 hiring season in full swing, Canadian employers and job-seekers are confident about the job market, according to a new survey released today by workopolis.com, Canada's leading provider of recruitment and job search solutions. According to Workopolis, the majority of job-seekers (86%) are optimistic about finding the right job in the near future. And almost all employers reported similar enthusiasm - 96 per cent said they are optimistic about finding the right candidate in the next few months. Yet both groups reported that a bullish job market comes with its own challenges. workopolis.com offers strategies to job-seekers and employers so they can work together to reap the benefits of a thriving job market in 2006.
A year in review
The workopolis.com survey asked recruiters and job-seekers to compare the current job market to a year ago. According to the survey:
- While nationally, most job-seekers reported they were optimistic about finding the right job in the next few months (41% reported they were "very optimistic" and 45% reported they were "somewhat optimistic"), Albertans and British Columbians were particularly bullish with 50 per cent and 48 per cent respectively reporting that they were very optimistic about finding the right job in the next few months.
- The volume of resumes and job postings has increased which is a mixed blessing for both sides: more hiring and more available candidates. Eighty-four per cent of job-seekers reported noticing the same or more job postings compared to a year ago, while 40 per cent of employers said they are seeing more resumes compared to a year ago.
- One-third (32%) of job-seekers reported it's harder to find the right job today than it was a year ago, and four in 10 (39%) recruiters said it's harder to find the right candidate today than it was a year ago.
- Reports on the job-seeking experience are most positive in Alberta, where more than half (54%) of the respondents reported more job postings compared to a year ago (only one-quarter of Ontarians - 27% said there were more postings);
- Only 15 per cent of Albertans cited a tougher market today than in the past, compared to 34 per cent of Ontarians.
"It's great to be in a booming job market, but job-seekers and employers need to be strategic in their search and use all available screening tools to make the process more efficient," said Patrick Sullivan, President of Workopolis. "Job-seekers need to be careful to only apply for jobs they have the right qualifications and skills for. And employers need to clearly list the specific qualifications and skills they are looking for in their job postings."
Is there a job for me?
While job-seekers appreciate the increased job postings across the country, candidates need to be strategic in identifying appropriate employment opportunities.
- When asked what overall the biggest challenge they face when job-hunting, more than half of job-seekers (53%) reported it was either finding a job with the right fit or that matched their qualifications.
- Likewise, when asked what the biggest recruiting obstacle they face is, 60 per cent of employers complained that sorting through incoming resumes to find suitable and qualified candidates makes their job challenging.
- When asked about the challenges job-seekers encounter in today's tight job market, one-third (37%) said while there is an abundance of jobs, many of them are not in their industry. Another one-quarter (23%) said there were too many job-postings which makes it hard to find a job that fits well. Albertans were particularly concerned with the volume of jobs, with one-third (33%) reporting that there are too many job postings.
- Another 13 per cent of job-seekers worried about finding a job that allows them to maintain the level of work/life balance they want.
Why you didn't get the job
Employers are candid when they say "no" and job-seekers can learn a lot by evaluating why they weren't able to land the job.
- According to the survey, when asked why they didn't get a job they applied for, one-third of candidates (33%) said they were told it was because the recruiter preferred another contender. Another 14 per cent said they were told they were the wrong fit for the job.
- But, applicants need to do their part to reduce the odds of rejection during the job-seeking process. One-third (31%) of candidates admitted they were overlooked for the position due to either a lack of experience or having inadequate qualifications.
- Only one in 10 (10%) reported the reason they didn't get the job was mismatched salary expectations.
Keeping employees satisfied
As human resource departments battle the hiring process, let's not forget the other side to their job which involves managing the employees already on staff.
- According to the survey, more than half (56%) of recruiters said the biggest human resource challenge they face is keeping their "star" employees and improving employee engagement.
- Just 18 per cent reported offering competitive compensation as their biggest human resource challenge. But employers may not be looking closely enough at their own issues, as they also reported that the number one reason (33%) for losing employees was that they took another job with higher pay.
- The other major reasons for resignation letters: one-quarter (23%) said employees were in search of better opportunities and another 14 per cent reported employees sought jobs that offered better work/life balance.
"Employers need to understand what keeps their employees happy and motivated at work," said Sullivan. "No matter what the job, people want positive feedback and suitable financial compensation. Improving retention can be as simple as listening to staff needs and acting accordingly."
Job-seeker tips to remain optimistic in 2006
- Be selective - Take your time to find the right job. Be particular when applying for jobs and only submit your resume for the ones that match your skill-set, qualifications and interests.
- Be prepared - Take a close look at several job postings that interest you and then do your part to upgrade your skills and education so you meet the requirements. Keep you resume up to date with any new courses you've taken, experience you've gained and skills you've acquired.
- Stay motivated - Job-seeking should be considered a full time job. But it's important that you stay motivated while on the hunt. Make sure your routine includes time for exercise and leisure, as well as pounding the pavement.
- Understand the market - Pay attention to thriving sectors, cities and jobs. You may need to adjust your job-seeking plan to accommodate a changing market, but getting the right job is often worth it.
- Know what you want - From the industry, to a suitable salary, to job opportunity. Before you accept any job, be sure it's right for you.
Employer tips to remain optimistic in 2006
- Use the tools at your disposal - Though you may feel you're searching for a needle in a haystack, be patient and use all of the tools at your disposal. Take advantage of online screening tools and resume databases that allow you to search for specific skills, education or other qualifications.
- Be specific - Make sure you clearly list the specific education, experience, qualifications and skills you are looking for in your job postings. That will help you reduce the number of mismatched resumes coming in.
- Keep employees happy - While part of your job is hiring the right candidates, it's equally important that you keep them happy on the job. Listen to staff needs and do your part to anticipate and meet them.
- Know the market - If you're not receiving the right caliber of resumes, find out why. Have you not presented your job opportunity in a way that makes it appealing? Are the right candidates not out there? Do you need to spread your search out to other markets?
Workopolis is Canada's leading provider of Internet recruiting and job search solutions offering a fully bilingual suite of award-winning applications, products and services to both large and small Canadian companies:
- workopolis.com™, Canada's biggest job site—with the most jobs, visitors and employers of any Canadian job site
- workopolisCampus.com, Canada's biggest job site for students and recent graduates
- CorporateWorks™, Canada's most implemented recruitment management solution using the tools that power workopolis.com to power corporate career sites
Workopolis is a unique and complementary partnership of three Canadian media companies, The Globe and Mail division of Bell Globemedia, Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and Gesca Ltd., the newspaper publishing subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada. Workopolis has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Guelph, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
About the poll: More than 2,600 Canadians responded to the survey posted on workopolis.com between January 16 and January 23, 2006. Over 220 human resource professionals responsible for recruitment and hiring at a cross section of Canadian companies responded to the survey posted on the workopolis.com employer site between January 17 and January 24, 2006.
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Jill Rosenberg/Tina Gladstone