The current job market is competitive. It’s important to be flexible and be able to adapt to changing conditions. Companies are getting hiring candidates without meeting in person and in turn, candidates need to be comfortable with that as well.

Here’s what we’re seeing in the marketplace.

Fewer opportunities and more people looking

This is challenging especially for those who were unemployed before COVID started. This will continue to mean that employers will have lots of applicants who applied to job postings but it’ll be challenging to manage the number of applicants and findthe candidate who is the best fit with the right skill set. It’ll mean looking through more applicants and perhaps it just won’t be realistic to manage the numbers.

Companies that are hiring are seeing a lot of inbound applications. It is a challenge to go through all of those applications. Be selective and only apply to opportunities that are relevant.

Fewer senior level opportunities

There are always fewer senior level opportunities typically but at the moment there are even less. If you’re a senior level candidate looking to make a move, it’s better to stay where you are until the economy and the market bounce back. If you’ve recently been downsized, consulting or contract work could be a good interim option.

Video Interviews

Be prepared for video interview fatigue. We keep hearing over and over zoom meetings are far more tiring than in-person meetings. For the foreseeable future, video interviews will be the norm. You may be interviewing for multiple opportunities at a time. Make sure you’re still doing your due diligence regarding each opportunity, each company as well as the individual contact.

Be flexible

The market for contractors has definitely ramped up. This is typical of an economic downturn. If you have the flexibility and don’t need a permanent job, contract can be a good interim measure. You may be making less and perhaps doing a lesser job, but you’re keeping busy, making contacts and expanding your network as well as your knowledge base potentially. The main thing is remaining as flexible as possible.

Passive candidate market

Most people who are still working, will not be looking to leave their job for another job unless it’s a really compelling opportunity. Minimizing risk is top of mind.

Add value

Now more than ever, as a job candidate you want to stand out from the pack. Look for ways to add value to a potential employer.  Can you add value in other areas of the business? Do you have some experience you can leverage which they are still exploring?

Practice empathy & gratitude

Everyone is stressed right now – people looking for work, companies who have to hire people. Be empathetic, listen and be kind.

All of the above will have a downward effect on compensation.

Even for those challenging positions to fill, there will be more competition and candidates willing to compete on price. Some senior candidates will be willing to take a step down, not only in title, but also in pay. The job market is and will continue to be highly competitive.

Stay positive. The job market will turn around and improve. Keep networking and making connections.