Job Seekers: Now Is Not the Time to Take Your Foot Off the Gas

By Randi Weitzman on August 8, 2022 at 5:47pm

By Randi Weitzman, Executive Director, Technology, Marketing and Creative, and Legal Talent Solutions for Permanent Placement, Robert Half

Good weather and school breaks make summer the perfect time to take a vacation. There’s no question that getting away from work is critical to recharge. But should you also take a break from your job search?

Job seekers ask me this question every summer. These days, however, I’m hearing it a lot more frequently. Some candidates are concerned, given recent stories about layoffs in the tech sector and questioning the overall strength of the hiring market.

My advice? Keep going. Here are three reasons not to put your search on autopilot or pause it right now:

1. The hiring market continues to be incredibly strong

According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there are more than 11 million job openings in the United States. And CNBC noted that there are nearly two roles open for every available worker. This is by far the best job market I’ve seen in my 23 years in recruiting. Unemployment rates continue to hover at 50-year lows, and we’re also continuing to see solid hiring activity across various industries.

2. Headlines don’t always reflect the full picture

In any market, it’s common for people to feel a bit jittery about changing roles. News coverage about recent layoffs may cause them to feel it’s risky to make a move right now. But are these headlines telling the whole story?

My colleague Megan Slabinski, district president at Robert Half, notes that these layoffs are isolated and don’t reflect a broad-based trend. Some firms with well-known brands or high-profile CEOs gained headlines when they hired aggressively in recent months; it’s to be expected that these same organizations will get coverage when they shift gears.

Simply put, one firm’s activity doesn’t reflect the health of an entire industry, job sector or geographical area. Be aware of the headlines, but don’t let them dictate your job search.

3. Hiring is a year-round practice

Organizations don’t pause hiring efforts when they need talent. While it’s true that vacation schedules can pull people from work at this time of year, many executives are open to interviewing a candidate while they’re away.

The pandemic forced most firms into interviewing via videoconference, and I’m glad to see this has become standard practice. Taking 30-60 minutes for a Zoom interview and keeping the process moving is much better than the alternative: Delaying by days or weeks and potentially losing the candidate to another offer.

At Robert Half, we extend job offers on behalf of our clients every day — in the height of summer, during winter holidays, and any other time of year. Recruiting never takes a holiday!

How can you best proceed in today’s job market?

First and foremost, don’t lose sight of why you want to make a change. Robert Half’s research shows that 41% of workers are looking for a new role in the second half of the year. Higher salary and advancement opportunities top the list of reasons they want to make a move. Regardless of your motivation, remind yourself that the change you’re working toward will bring you benefits and job satisfaction you don’t have today.

Second, if you’re nervous about potential changes in the market, focus your search on sectors known for stability and growth, like healthcare, manufacturing, government and professional services. Check LinkedIn for any connections who work in these areas and might be open to offering insight and referrals.

Third, talk with people who know the market inside and out. Find a recruiter in your city and ask about the specific trends they’re seeing. Who’s hiring right now and why? Which organizations have stable leadership and the potential to grow? Where have you placed candidates recently, and what are you hearing about their experience so far?

No one can predict what’s going to happen in the future. But good recruiters can talk about employers of choice in their cities and connect you with roles that aren’t advertised on the open market. You may hear about companies or industries you hadn’t considered before. Keep an open mind and give each opportunity careful consideration. Staying focused on your search will help you uncover the right job that will bring you the salary and satisfaction you deserve.

Follow Randi Weitzman on LinkedIn.

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