You probably don’t associate folk singer Bob Dylan with today’s job market, but do you remember his classic ballad reminding us “the times, they are a-changing?”

Well, it’s a pretty accurate summary of what’s happening as the global economy continues to turn around. And during the last few years, the employment market picture likewise has shifted, giving job seekers the upper hand – at least those candidates who qualify as top-level talent.

If you’re an “A” level job candidate, chances are you’re sitting pretty as companies woo you to join their teams. On the average, top ranked talent can expect:

  • Offers that are 30 percent higher than the rest of the pack.
  • Somewhere in the range of three to five competitive offers from which to choose.

Setting Your Price

Job seekers circa 2013 should be prepared to exercise more leverage in the hiring process.

  • Hiring companies have gotten used to taking their time and having the luxury of broad candidate pools. In fact, 20 percent of the American workforce is still looking for a job. However, job seekers are not as starved for opportunities as they used to be. With the economy on an upswing, the days of candidates having only one chance to accept an offer before it was rescinded have fallen by the wayside.
  • But sellers still need to tread carefully. Without a doubt, the job market is gaining momentum. Employers have added an average of more than 200,000 jobs per month this year and nationwide unemployment has fallen to 7.6 percent from its high of 10 percent in 2009. But at the same time, 8.2 million Americans who want to work full time are able to find only part-time employment.

Walking the Employment Tightrope

Whether you’re a job seeker or a hiring manager, it’s critical to keep abreast of rapidly-changing employment trends and appreciate that while the economy is recovering, it can be likened to a patient who’s been moved out of the intensive care unit, but has a ways to go before their doctor gives them a completely clean bill of health.

  • Candidates: You’re the seller. As a job seeker, be upfront and present as much information as possible to potential employers about yourself and your current prospects. How actively are you job hunting? Do you have other offers and if so, how likely is it you’ll accept? This information can affect how quickly a company makes a hiring decision.
  • Hiring managers: You’re the buyer. Define your targets and create ideal hiring profiles – the right blend of intellect, personality and cultural fit – for each open position. Then you can compare profiles to people and make the right match.

The current employment picture is a work in progress. While both companies and candidates continue to hammer out the answers to their job market questions, it’s critically important to stay on top of industry developments. Contact the expert team at BrainWorks for assistance and to help ensure that your plan going forward is a steady one – even though the economic ground may still be a little shaky.

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