Hiring Boom – A Bull Market for Job Seekers

Hiring Boom for Job Seekers

There’s really no question that the hiring boom is on. March economic data indicates a bull market for job seekers. There’s full employment – national unemployment levels remain around the 4.1% rate and even lower in some cities and industry sectors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary report underscores the high demand for employees in the 2018 employment trends– January figures showed increased job openings of 4.1 percent (608,000 jobs) in the private sector and even a slight growth in federal jobs. Currently, there are 6.3 million job openings in the US for those of us job searching in 2018, and new openings are outpacing employers’ ability to hire.1

Hiring Boom Nine Hot Occupations

The graph above shows nine career areas where current demand far outstrips the supply of candidates for jobs. High demand for STEM jobs is expected, but employers are also having difficulties recruiting for middle management and entry level positions. They’re changing their recruiting practices, lowering educational prerequisites for some positions, and talking with people who would never have been considered just a few years ago.2

Recruiters are Working Smarter During the Hiring BoomRenoir small

The hiring boom means you can just waltz in to any interview and come out with a high paying job, right? Not exactly. If you’re an excellent candidate for an open position, you certainly have some leverage, but that doesn’t mean a free pass. Recruiters and hiring managers are working harder to fill positions, but they’re also working smarter. High competition for the best candidates is shortening the hiring cycle, and companies are adopting new methods for selecting applicants who are likely to succeed and who fit the company culture.

The tight job market is also producing a positive change in workforce management philosophies, especially in larger, progressive businesses. While companies remain focused on “lean and agile” operations, employees are less likely to be viewed as disposable commodities than during the tough years of the great recession. Among HR professionals, there’s a return to discussions of career tracks and ways to improve employee retention.

Central to these discussions is the recognition that in today’s economy, people work for a company because they want to, not because they have to. Employers are recognizing that company culture is especially important to the millennial generation, many of whom were snubbed when they entered the workforce and patched together a “career” with multiple jobs that paid the bills.

In their recently released 2018 Global Recruiting Trends report, LinkedIn Talent Solutions identifies four trends that are notable, as companies reinvent their approach to talent acquisition.

  1. New Recruiting Techniques – Employers still use resumes and interviews as the primary selection methods for leading candidates, but they’re also adapting new techniques. 59% of the companies surveyed in the LinkedIn report are using soft skills assessments. Other companies are moving towards job auditions that can be trial runs of a few days or a couple of weeks or intensive one-day events where applicants are given real business problems to solve in a collaborative workshop setting.
  2. Data – HR departments are among the last areas of business to adopt data as a basis for decision making. In the new hiring environment, HR professionals are moving towards analytics and benchmarking to understand competitive offers and compensation, skills gaps, and employee attrition. For job seekers, this means that the HR folks are likely to be more savvy. They are using data to build better offers, understand candidate and employee needs, and to predict the individual success.
  3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – AI is basically a time saver for HR and the current technology can more accurately be described as automation. Automated processes are most likely to be used to accelerate the workflow in the initial phases of a hiring process – video interviews and automated resume screening are examples. Actual AI applications are hovering on the horizon, but many hiring decisions remain intuitive and not easy to replicate with machine learning.
  4. Diversity – Large companies are actively addressing diversity issues for a number of reasons. 78% prioritize diversity to improve culture, 62% connect diversity to financial performance, and 50% want to more accurately mirror the customer base. Company efforts are primarily focused on gender equality, but ethnic, racial, age, and generational aspects of diversity are also considerations. As a job seeker, diversity efforts could positively or negatively impact your efforts, but company initiatives to improve diversity will reflect in the culture and character of the workplace where you land.³

Line of Employees

Land the Job as an Informed Candidate

Even during a hiring boom, employers are looking for “informed candidates,” according to ongoing research by Glassdoor.com. They want “candidates who’ve researched the employer understand the requirements for a role, and set reasonable pay expectations before applying.”4 The Glassdoor survey identifies some specifics:

  • 49% of employers say an ideal candidate comes to an interview prepared with questions.
  • 46% say they should be knowledgeable about the role or position.
  • 36% say that candidates should understand the company’s culture and values.5

How do you ride the bull market and land the perfect job? In practical terms, it’s still going to require lots of preparation before you apply and certainly before you interview. Here are a few pro tips to help you succeed during the hiring boom:

  1. Keep your resume ready – Even if you’re not actively looking for a new position, in today’s competitive market, it’s quite likely that a recruiter may come to you.
  2. Target the Company You Want – 75% of companies are actively hiring, so the odds are good that there are openings at your target companies. Check the website, but also make some contacts that will get you in the door first.
  3. Do the Research – Most of what you need to become an informed candidate is in the job description and on the company website. Check sites like glassdoor.com for insights into company culture and the way interviews are handled.
  4. Illustrate the soft skills – Recruiters and decision makers still operate by the axiom that past performance indicates future success. Customize your resume for each application. Include short illustrations of challenges and accomplishments that demonstrate the leadership and human relationship skills that companies are looking for.
  5. Practice, practice, practice – 90% of the questions you will hear in an interview can be anticipated. Prepare and rehearse your answers and stories ahead of time and make sure that they effectively demonstrate the results you have achieved and will achieve.
  6. Ask about the process – You’ll want to be prepared for the new innovations that your target company is using. It’s best to ask early on in the process to be prepared for assessments, structured interviews, and other new or different exercises that may be involved in the interview and decision process.

You might also want to be prepared for more intensive interviews. Because the best candidates don’t stay long in the job market, employers are compressing the hiring cycle. A quick video interview may be followed soon after by a day long battery of interviews, assessments, and social interaction with company representatives. Today, it’s not unusual for a company to interview a group of candidates, make selections, and finalize the decision and offer in one day.

Make Your Career Move During this Hiring BoomBull Market for Jobs

There’s one last recommendation if you’re considering a career move during this latest hiring boom.ActNow. The economic recovery has lasted now for 105 months. That’s old age for an economic cycle, and the bull market for job seekers won’t last forever.

If you need help with a corporate resume or coaching to help you prepare for interviews, we hope you’ll get in touch. Since 1986, CareerPro Global has assisted over 65,000 satisfied clients with resumes and career assistance. Can we help with your next career move?


1Economic News Release: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 16, 2018.

2Colvin, Geoff, How to Profit from the Ultra-Tight Job Market Right Now, Fortune, 1/18/18.

3Global Recruiting Trends 2018, LinkedIn Talent Solutions, 1/10/18.

4Chamberlain, Andrew, Ph.D., What’s Ahead for Jobs? Five Disruptions to Watch in 2018, Glassdoor.com, 12/17, p. 8.


Photo Credits:

Renoir, Dance at Bougival, Wikimedia Commons

Fearless Girl photo, Flickr, Anthony Quintano

Page Updated April 25, 2019

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