For professionals starting their job search, the landscape may be very different to when they last looked for a job.
Time to hire, the interview process, and employer expectations are all changing.
While the improving job market has brought greater opportunities for professionals ready to change jobs, new processes and priorities in recruitment will present new challenges for job seekers.
Expect longer recruitment processes
Prior to the financial crisis, it was not unusual for professionals to be offered a role after a single interview. However, as pressure has grown on businesses to ensure that they secure top talent this has changed significantly.
As businesses develop more thorough recruitment processes, professionals can expect to go through multiple interviews before being offered a role.
"For professionals who may have been in the same role for six or seven years and are now looking to change, being aware of greater time to hire is important," said Chad Lawson, Associate Director at Robert Walters.
"While hiring times have increased across the board there are still significant variations across different sectors and industries."
"A recruitment consultancy will be able to offer you insights into what kind of time to hire you can expect with the roles you apply for."
New technologies used to interview
Hiring managers are frequently using Skype and phone interviews, both to broaden their potential talent pool and to make the high volume of early stage interviews easier to manage and schedule.
For professionals used to taking part in job interviews face to face, this means developing a new set of skills.
"Telephone and Skype interviews have grown in importance as pressures increase on hiring managers to find the right person for the job by exploring a broader range of candidates," commented Chad Lawson.
"Sometimes this leads them to look overseas, but increasingly employers are using these approaches even to screen a first round of local candidates."
"Ensuring that you are comfortable speaking on Skype and perfecting a professional tone to use over the phone are becoming essential skills for job seeking professionals."
Growing importance of transferable skills
While employers can be cautious when it comes to hiring those without direct experience of the role in question, talent shortages are forcing them to broaden their hiring criteria to consider candidates with transferable skills.
“More general, transferable skills and a personality fit are often more important than direct experience, as technical skills can be taught to the right person,” added Chad Lawson.
“Talented professionals, particularly those who can show evidence of their adaptability, should not be put off applying for a role even if they do not have direct experience in that area.”
Professionals have more leverage when negotiating salaries
As hiring processes become more thorough, businesses are investing significant resources in finding the right candidates.
This can place professionals who are offered a role in a strong position to negotiate their salary and terms.
Having expended significant resources on finding a candidate they want to hire, employers are more likely to be willing to negotiate to secure that professional.
"With employers investing additional time and resources in the recruitment process they will be certain they want to hire someone before making an offer," continued Chad Lawson.
"By preparing in advance for these negotiations, professionals can secure very favourable terms once the employer is keen to take them on."