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How to maximise your job search in a candidate driven market

28 July 2021

The current IT employment market is rich in jobs but poor in available talent. The number of tech roles across Australia’s corporate landscape far exceeds the number of local talent capable of filling them. This imbalance has created a growing talent shortage, meaning some employers now need IT candidates more than those candidates need employers.

Research suggests that 69% of Australian companies are already feeling the bite of shortages on their hiring strategy. Furthermore, Australia needs 200,000 additional IT professionals over the next five years to remain globally competitive. These statistics tell a compelling story, we are in a candidate driven market.

Consequently, relevant technology candidates now have far more power at the hiring negotiation table than ever before. In this blog, we share our top tips to help technology candidates capitalise on this opportunity in a way that doesn’t impact their long-term prospects.

Define your value proposition

If you are contemplating a career change, it’s important to understand your strengths and weaknesses that differentiate you from your peers. Your value proposition includes both your technical expertise and soft skills, demonstrated through experience and reinforced by your personality, that in combination will increase your desirability by employers.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses, make it clear to the employer what they’re getting and why they should invest significant resources to attain your services. The clearer your value proposition, in this market, the more roles and companies you will be able to choose from in your job search.

Understand your motivations and end goal

What drives you to work hard? Is it money, is it flexibility, is it work-life balance or is it something else? Likewise, what is your end goal? Do you want to be a CIO, or start a business, or simply maintain a healthy wage to support your loved ones?

Whatever your answers might be, In a candidate driven market, knowing your needs and wants are crucial to maximising your job search. We tend to believe the grass is always greener on the other side, however, if you don’t truly understand your motivations and end-goal, you always risk taking a backwards step.

Ask yourself, how does this new job opportunity help me reach my end-goal, and what benefits do I need from a company to stay motivated and be successful? Once you find a job and a company that can satisfy these desires, you can be more confident you’re on the right track.

Know your worth and negotiate…

Once you know who you are and what you want, in a candidate driven market, you have the unique ability to negotiate your true market value. Companies will always want the best, and those with the capital capacity, will be willing to open their wallets to secure you. This is why in the past 12 months alone, we have seen demand for talent in sub-categories like IT security, data and cloud technology boost salaries upwards of 30%.

The macro-environmental trends are currently in your favour; from closed international borders to expensive digital transformation projects, companies are scrambling to attract top IT talent. In response, you can exploit this demand by negotiating a contract that meets both your financial and non-financial needs.

But do the right thing

While you should absolutely negotiate a great deal for yourself and capitalise on current market conditions, it’s also important you don’t push employers too far. Career progression is a marathon not a sprint, If you negotiate beyond reasonable expectations, then you risk falling into the greedy category impacting current and future employer relationships.

How you act now will influence how you are treated in return further down the track. Australia has a small IT community, meaning your professional reputation is important. When you activate your job search, make sure you consider the long-term working relationships you have with employers should the market turn against you.

Do your research and stay informed

Australia’s IT market is constantly evolving, meaning if you are serious about your job search, you need to stay informed about current and future trends that could impact or disrupt your work specialisation. The employment market can always change, particularly in a highly dynamic environment like technology where employers are continually adopting new technologies and seeking new types of talent to manage them.

To keep on top of this, we recommend you do your research. How? By monitoring job boards to see what opportunities are out there. To attend industry events and network with valuable contacts to keep on top of hiring trends. To continually upskill yourself within your specialisation to remain employable and highly sought after. These activities will help you maximise your job search and mitigate any potential risk that may pop up in the future.

Yes, Australia’s IT jobs market is candidate driven, meaning now is a great time to activate your job search and capitalise on current opportunities. While we recommend you take advantage of these conditions in your job search, it’s also important you consider your long term prospects as well. At Ignite, we specialise in technology recruitment and can help you optimise your job search in this candidate driven market. Contact the team today for more information.

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