The job market is a moving target…with businesses acting like a significant other who isn’t ready to commit. Instead of marrying themselves to permanent employees, companies are speed dating and hiring more project-based workers. Businesses use this strategy when they are unsure of what the market will do. That trend has employment agencies seeing an overall upswing in demand over what we saw in the previous 24 months, primarily in the Secondary (Manufacturing), Tertiary (Services), and Quaternary (Knowledge-Based) Economic Sectors.
It sounds crazy with the unemployment rates we have, but here in the Midwest we don’t have enough skill talent to go around. Businesses are hiring more executive-level and middle-management for project-base jobs; we’re seeing those project-base jobs in manufacturing engineering (new product design and development), computer-aided technologies (CAx), numerical analysis, accounting, and technology for modern healthcare.
We are also seeing a demand for multi-lingual project-base jobs. Multinational businesses headquartered in Latin America,Germany,China, and Sweden have jobs in their US offices for bilingual workers who speak English plus German, Chinese, Swedish or Spanish.
The highest growth rate goes to Executive Assistant/Office Managers (who have experience supporting CEOs and other company leaders.) Especially candidates with Associate’s Degrees in Business Management, or 3+ years of experience without degree. The “Assistant” role within the office environment has evolved drastically with the ever-increasing reliance on technology. Assistants are now asked to perform a variety of tasks that were once reserved for managerial and professional staff. While the basic duties still stand—taking messages, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings—executive assistants are also often put in charge of supervising other staff, reviewing incoming information/data, and even conducting research and preparing statistical reports. In short, it’s the Executive Assistant’s job to make sure the top branches of the company run smoothly.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 12.6 percent employment growth for executive assistants between 2012 and 2020. An additional 156,000 jobs will need to be filled within that time period.
We also have been engaged to fill a number of in-house legal positions. Some are in smaller privately-owned companies seeking to start or expand their in-house capability, and others are established institutions continuing their significant in-house legal functions. The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) 2011 Census Report showed that, over the last five years, there was a growing tendency of law departments to handle their legal issues internally. This trend is consistent with the overall efforts of corporations to cut costs and rely less on outside counsel.
In this current employer market, businesses can afford to be extremely selective in their hiring practices, particularly those in the upper echelons of prestige and profitability. Candidates must have the right balance of both hard and soft skills to be considered for any job opening. You must PROVE to that Hiring Manager that you are; technologically savvy, understand the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), possess the characteristics of a lifelong learner…that you are believable, dependable, and confident, show an understanding of management accounting, and a great communicator with integrity, and consistency.
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses in an employers-market can help you present yourself in a positive light, which may give you the edge. Present yourself differently to each Hiring Manager…highly how your skills-set matches what they are looking for.