Is Now the Time to Be Job Hunting? Our Personalised Advice

  • February 23, 2021

We might be still in the grips of Lockdown 3.0, but we wanted to reassure you that we’re still hiring. Not only are we still hiring, we’re actually still busy. Really busy – and really grateful.

The IT industry has been luckier than most – we see a more positive outlook than many other sectors. Overall, the current labour market is complex. As evidenced by the ONS graph, the pandemic had the most catastrophic impact on the labour market we have ever seen, far surpassing the 2008 financial crisis. But, as you’ll also see, recovery is also rapid.

Source: ONS

In our experience, many organisations immediately adopted a hiring freeze as a knee-jerk response, but it was short-lived and it didn’t take long for hiring activity to pick up again. There is definitely almost a sense of being amidst a changing tide as we adapt to a new world, though. There’s certainly been a shift in desires and in-demand people and skills, and we are still navigating a new global recruitment marketplace as free movement ended and the UK switched to the points-based immigration system on 31 December.

Overall, we think it’s almost business as usual and as we emerge from coronavirus restrictions of the coming month we are expecting the market to continue to pick up until, really, things are better than before. It feels great to be full of optimism for the future.

Is now a good time for job-hunting?

The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. It’s definitely worth checking out what’s out there if a new job has been on your agenda for a while. All the job-listings we are currently showcasing are live and open to applications. Whether your job search will be successful, or whether it’s advisable right now depends on your skillset, experience level and personal circumstances.

If You’re an Experienced Candidate

If you feel like you’re a good fit for a juicy role you’ve spotted, then we say there’s nothing to lose by going for it. Our feel for the market this far is that experienced, quality candidates are as in demand as ever and are doing very well at interview. There’s less competition from passive candidates, too, so you may just stand out more than you might have a year or so ago. There should be no reason to hold back, and we’d love to have a chat with you about your hopes and plans.

If You Are Relatively Newly Qualified

If your career is in its early stages, we might recommend you hang back and wait. We’ve seen the biggest reduction in junior-level roles, mainly due to uncertainty and lack of time. There’s also the perception that newly qualified candidates will require more mentoring and time, and this means it might not be the right time for this kind of move. This isn’t to say that there’s no point putting the feelers out – we anticipate that this situation will change rapidly now there’s hope for getting out of lockdown after the PM’s announcement last night.

The super-efficient vaccine rollout has opened so many doors, giving us all hope of getting back to the office sooner rather than later. A return to the physical working environment is likely to open up more junior roles again, and with market stimulation comes internal movement and organisational restructure, resulting in more entry-level positions materialising in the market. There’s hope – a great deal of it.

If You’re Considering a Career Change

Many furloughed employees are looking to jump before the anticipated push happens once the Job Retention Scheme finally ends. Additionally, there are many who are looking to reskill after their industry has been significantly affected by the pandemic. With growth and opportunity forecast for the IT jobs sector, it’s understandable that this arena is an attractive reskilling prospect.

Before investing in expensive training it would be wise to speak to a recruitment consultant first to gauge your background, existing skills and overall suitability for any career paths you have in mind. There are other ways to build experience and skills, including sideways career steps like gaining customer service experience to help get a foot in the door of a helpdesk career.

If You’re an Experienced IT Professional Looking to Change Career Path

Many opportunities have opened up in specialisms you may previously not have considered. Cybersecurity, data and cloud roles have been particularly abundant and employers are considering a wider range of skills and upskilling talented candidates themselves. Opportunities that may not have been possible a year ago could be within your grasp. Again, a conversation with a recruitment professional could provide interesting insight.

We’d love to hear from you

Our consultants have a deep understanding of their markets and know exactly what their clients are looking for and how to respond to the market to make it happen. Whatever your experience level, we’d be happy to talk and steer you in the right direction based on the rapidly evolving market.

For a feel of the kind of roles that are currently active, check out our current vacancies.

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