Adapting to Evolving Job Market Realities and Maximizing Opportunities in 2024

Published January 2024

The job market is loosening, and employers are not as quick to hire. The labor market appears to be stabilizing with a more normal churn, though we expect to continue to see layoffs going into the New Year. That said, the economy is holding and recession fears are receding.

Right now, 20% of companies surveyed by Challenger in November plan to conduct layoffs in 2024. Another 20% will cut costs in other ways. 61% have no need for layoffs, 31% of those are actively hiring.

Meanwhile, 70% of companies are reporting business conditions are better than or on par with the previous year. With business mostly stable, hiring and retention are not as high a priority. The hiring process may be slower than the breakneck pace of the last few years.

To help those looking for new positions, Challenger offered these tips:

Job Search Tips for 2024

  • Use AI. Job seekers can use artificial intelligence language models to draft their resume or find appropriate keywords for online applications.
  • Network, network, network.
    • Get involved with community service groups. This is a great way to build your network as well as hone your professional skills.
    • Join a professional/trade association. These organizations can provide training and education opportunities and most hold several networking functions every year. The dues are worth their weight in gold if you meet a person at an event who can help you find a new job.
    • Have lunch with at least one new contact each week. Obviously, networking is an essential part of finding a job. Blindly adding new people to your LinkedIn contacts list is entirely ineffective. It is vital to meet with people on a regular basis. Lunch or even over coffee is an ideal setting, because it is more relaxed. Building these relationships may help you in your current position and they will definitely help when you enter the job market.
  • Audit and update your social media. Recruiters absolutely Google their candidates. How do you appear in search results? Having questionable or controversial content is sometimes just as bad as having nothing. Use your social media profiles to tell your professional story. Post articles or news items that are relevant to your role or industry. Talk about your or your colleagues’ professional accomplishments. Include posts on personal hobbies or causes, such as running marathons, links to fundraisers for your local library or disease research, or that great photo of your last vacation.
  • Rev up your skills. Continued education, whether a new certification or completing classes relevant to your role, is a huge plus to employers. Explore online courses and certificate programs to broaden your industry knowledge, increasing your marketability to a variety of employers.
  • Look beyond your industry. Just because you have been working in the same industry for a certain number of years, does not mean that you must stay in that industry. Your fundamental job function is the primary skill set you are selling to employers, not your knowledge of a specific industry. Your skills as an IT professional in the financial industry are certainly transferable to the health care industry, for example.

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Contact Colleen Madden Blumenfeld for more data or to set up an interview with SVP Andy Challenger.

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