How To Get Hired Even In A Job Market Slowdown

By February 16, 2024For Talent, Other

January is usually a good barometer of the job market to come. It’s traditionally a busy month for job seekers. They’re back to work, and back to a routine they’ve had time to reflect and ruminate on.

New year’s resolutions can often prompt change and job hunting tends to go hand-in-hand with the sharp rise in gym memberships and pledges to Dry January.

This year was a little different, however. Despite a small rise in job searches last month, activity was more muted than previous years. Additionally, job postings were down 5%, says career site, Indeed. 

Many experts believe 2024’s lacklustre job posting rebound after the holiday period and lower search activity compared to previous years points to a cooling job market. While the line chart is worrying for anyone looking to secure a new role this year, there is some encouraging news for professionals willing to think outside the box. 

“Despite the headwinds, it is still a job seeker’s market–you just need to have the right kind of skills,” writes Amanda Kavanagh on HackerNoon this week. “Tech companies are urgently seeking software engineers, and those with data analysis and cybersecurity skills, for example.

“The need goes further, because as the pace of digitization increases, many of what would traditionally be considered ‘non-tech’ industries, such as retail and banking, are aiming to hire many more workers with technical skills too.” This means that what you can do, and not just what you have studied, is what matters.

Stand Out

The skills shortage across the tech industry means that even if you are not formally trained, if you know how to position your skills in the job market you’ll have a greater chance of success. 

“Tech companies are moving away from traditional hiring criteria of having specific educational requirements, or a set number of years in a previous job. Before, where a company hiring for a programming job may have insisted on a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and three years’ experience, now many are adopting a skills-based approach.”

This is great news for anyone looking to pivot into the tech industry or switch departments. 

Game’s Up

One area tech professionals should consider is gaming. This week, BGR published a piece about the way tech layoffs are shaping the gaming industry. A recent report from estimates that consumer spending on mobile games will rebound 4% to $111.4 billion in 2024, not far from the pandemic highs of $115.8 billion, and overall anticipates a return to moderate growth for the industry. 

“For non-technical roles, a pivot is more straightforward, while engineers interested in game dev would do well to upskill or refresh their knowledge of C++, C#, JavaScript, Swift, Java, Lua and Python. Though it would be most strategic to first identify where you want to work, and which companies are hiring first.”

If you’re feeling inspired but can’t bear the idea of a lengthy recruitment process, follow VentureBeat’s guide to speeding up your job hunt and see if you can’t land your dream role in record time. 

Read more about the growth of skills-based hiring here

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Author Rosaleen McMeel

More posts by Rosaleen McMeel

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