Unemployment ended 2018 at 3.7% and is expected to fall to 3.5% in 2019 and remain below 4% through 2020 leading to noticeable effects on hiring. This is especially true of in-demand occupations. If you’re interested in advancing your career, here are six trends that are shaping employment opportunities in the coming year:

The low unemployment rate increases your value

Employers need skilled workers to grow and meet the demands of their customers. Because unemployment is so low, skilled workers have become a scarce and therefore valuable resource. If you have the right technical experience and soft skills, you’ll be very attractive in this market.

Pre-interview assessments will be more common

Organizations are competing for a limited pool of talented workers. When they do hire someone, they want to be sure it’s the best fit. So, many companies are using cognitive assessment tools to analyze and evaluate prospective hires. They consider not only experience, skills and aptitude but also motivation, personality and behavioral factors.

Usage of video interviews will increase

Companies have been using recorded video interviews for some time. They are going to become more prevalent and customized to the company and position. These video interviews will be as rigorous as the traditional in-person interviews. They will go beyond the standard one size fits all questions to more technical questions that will better predict success on the job.

Social media activity is a hiring factor

Skilled workers are valuable in this market, but organizations still have an obligation to hire employees whose personalities and values align with their missions and culture. Expect employers to examine your social media profiles. If you present an unprofessional image online, they will often decline to hire you. Clean up your social media!

Nearly every job has a data component

Even the smallest businesses today are driven by data. Jobs responsibilities that require data analytics and even light coding are becoming more frequent.  If you’ve never been exposed to the concepts and principles behind data analytics principles and coding languages, now is a good time to learn those skills.

Employers are doing more sourcing

Even if you’re not seeking a job, expect some outreach from prospective employers. Skilled workers are so scarce that employers aren’t waiting for you to respond to job posting. Instead, they’re constantly ‘sourcing,’ the term for proactively identifying potential hires and engaging them in a recruiting process. To signal your interest or at least let them know you exist, an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is a must.

Low unemployment rates are good news for job seekers, but employers are still being smart about who they hire and have the patience to wait until they identify the right candidate. A strong accomplishment-based resume, proven technical skills and the right soft skills are necessary in this market. Don’t be fooled into thinking employers are so desperate that it has taken all the work out of job search.


Rick Christensen

Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice Rick has been a career consultant for over 25 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.

Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.

Contact Rick at: Rick@CareerDevelopmentPartners.com