The end of the year is fast approaching, and you may find yourself growing restless in your current job. You aren't alone. Getting a new job is a popular new year's resolution, and knowing what to expect from the job market for the next year can give you a leg up over steep competition. Here are five ways the job market will change in 2019.
1. Companies need to appeal to job seekers, not just the other way around.
The job market is extremely competitive, but not just for job seekers. Companies and organizations need to do everything to make their employment opportunity as appealing as possible. As much as the interview process is aimed at finding the right candidate for an open position, the candidate is also interviewing the company to ensure they can envision a future there for themselves.
2. Treat job descriptions as your top of funnel.
The first step to making sure the candidate gets a glimpse of your culture is creating attractive job descriptions. Global companies and corporations, like Amazon and Google, have the benefit of their brand speaking for them, but smaller businesses have to work harder to articulate their mission and culture.
Justin Cerilli, managing director of financial services for executive search and leadership transition firm Russell Reynolds and Associates, says the best job descriptions "combine a little bit of marketing, the reality of the role, the necessary skills and competencies, and the organization's culture."
While most job descriptions usually cover the primary, day-to-day responsibilities, not many include growth opportunities the position affords the candidate. It's becoming less common for workers to stay with the same company for longer than a couple of years, and to prevent high turnover, the best candidates want to know that the position allows room for growth.
3. Offer competitive compensation and benefits packages.
Given how many companies are forgoing providing benefits for their employees – according to a report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical benefits were only available to 69 percent of private industry workers as of September of this year. If your company offers benefits, you should let your applicants know upfront.
For smaller businesses, it might not be in the budget for you to offer full health benefits to employees. According to that same Bureau of Labor Statistics report, only "55 percent of private industry workers in small establishments (those with fewer than 100 employees) were offered medical benefits."
If you don't provide medical benefits to employees, compensate accordingly whenever possible to keep your best players on board. To compete for the best talent, you have to make your job opportunity worth their while.
4. Increase transparency in the interview process.
According to a recent survey by Glassdoor, "a lack of information about a job's total compensation package" is one of the biggest frustrations for job seekers during the interview process.
Julie Coucoules, Glassdoor's global head of talent acquisition, stated that "job seekers clearly feel that understanding the total compensation package, including pay and benefits, is absolutely essential to fully evaluate a job opportunity." Letting applicants know as many specifics as possible about the interview process should also become commonplace.
"Time to hire is a key metric that many employers track and pay attention to, so recruiters and candidates really are on the same page when it comes to the outcome: They all want a quick and efficient match, resulting in informed, quality candidates on board as quickly as possible," said Coucoules. "Nobody likes to have their time wasted, which is why it is so important for employers to provide the necessary information upfront to allow people to make good decisions about the jobs they are applying for," she added.
5. Upskill, upskill, upskill.
With widespread automation and the constant shift of business priorities, upskilling is more important than ever before, both for workers and employers. Rather than the nice perk it once was, offering training to your employees is an absolute must now.
According to a survey conducted by Robert Half and Enactus, of Generation Z workers (born between 1990 and 1999), "91 percent cited professional training as an important factor when choosing an employer." Smart professionals, not just newer workers, believe constant development is of vital importance to remain relevant in their industry, and they expect their employers to provide at least some of these learning opportunities.
If you're concerned about the cost, don't be. The ROI for employers is greater than the cost of providing training and development because it helps with retention as well as addressing knowledge and skill gaps as they arise.
Tips for job seekers
The advice from Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist for Glassdoor, provided for last year's job seekers is especially applicable this year: Tailor your cover letter and resume as much as possible. With the automation overhaul HR software is getting, tailoring your cover letter and resume to match the job description – while remaining honest about your abilities – gives you the best chance of getting an interview.
Once you've made it to the interview round, embrace an open, coachable attitude. Yes, that may sound like corporate team-building mumbo jumbo, but adopting a coachable attitude can mean the difference between getting through to the next round of interviews and landing your dream job. If hiring managers perceive you as a collaborative team player, that can serve you better than having all of the competencies and skills listed in the job description.