Challenges for job seekers in the current job market
26th October 2011
MD of Personal Career Management Corinne Mills was a guest on Sky News to discuss what challenges you might expect to experience in the current job market with News Reporter Joel Hills.
See below transcript taken from the live show:
Joel Hills (presenter): Unemployment up, employment down, claimant count up, redundancy up, number of vacancies in the economy unchanged but low – if this is a recovery, it doesn’t feel like one. Official figures show people out of work rose by 114,000 in the 3 months to the end of August, 2.57 million, the highest level in 17 years. Meanwhile, pay continues to rise at a slower pace than prices. Average pay, excluding bonuses, is up just 1.8% on last year, inflation as we know is running at 4.5%. With me is a careers expert, Corinne Mills, she is the joint managing director of Personal Career Management.
Corinne, you have 25 years in HR and career coaching, has it ever been this bad?
Corinne Mills: I don’t remember it ever being this grim, and it seems to be so prolonged. I think the thing about business confidence and the recruitment market starting to pick up again, it feels that people have been waiting our breath for so long for it to pick up, it still feels pretty grim and the prospects don’t seem too much better going forward either.
Joel Hills (presenter): I mean, you’re a career coach, this is a time where they should be so lucky if they’ve got a job.
Corinne: Well, having said that, there are always opportunities out there. This is not a job market for the timid by any chance, you have to go out there, you have to be clear about what you want, you have to self-promote, hunt those employers down and go and get it – but there are opportunities. But it is a win lose scenario because the job you want, there will be loads of other people after it.
Joel Hills (presenter): 1 in 5 people are chasing each vacancy in the economy, they have been collating statistics on vacancies since 2011 but there were fewer vacancies than there were during the recession, or even before the recession, with 200,000 fewer vacancies – the jobs just aren’t there for many people.
Corinne Mills: No, I think that’s what we found within our business. A lot of these people you know, they had been star players in their organisations, they’ve been made redundant, they thought they would breezily walk into the next job – that hasn’t happened and they’ve been a bit stunned by that. You have to really get yourself a competitive edge, you have to get your marketing sorted, it is ruthless out there – you are going to have to pull off all the stops in order to get that job.
Joel Hills (presenter): Are you having to manage people’s expectations? Are you communicating with them when they come through the door, look the power of positive thinking is important, but there is a reality check here too – it’s grim out there.
Corinne Mills: Absolutely, no you have to be realistic, there’s no point people putting out loads of applications – they haven’t got a hope in hell of getting so we are very realistic with people, but again, I think people can be just a little naive. So for instance, we talk a lot about transferable skills, you know, in one job, what might not be relevant in another job, but people often think ‘I’ve been a manager in one sector, therefore I should be able to be a manager in any sector’, well It doesn’t work like that, you really have to put together a business case for each employer to say why you are the perfect candidate for the job and that needs to have a reality check but it needs to really targeted and focused.
Joel Hills (presenter): Well you speak to people with experience, there is a generation though of school leaves, university leavers who are leaving qualified, but who will find there are very few opportunities out there.
Corinne Mills: I think this is one of the toughest and most cruel parts of this recession if you like, they are the raw material, the potential. They’re not the fully-fledged article and they are finding it very difficult to find employers who are receptive for taking on someone and training. They’ve worked hard, they’ve graduated, you know this is a really really difficult market for them
Joel Hills (presenter): Ok, Corinne Mills, joint managing director of Personal Career Management.
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