What will 2021 bring for job seekers?

By Chris O'Connor, Head of Permanent and Contract Recruitment

​What will 2020 be remembered for from a recruitment perspective?

I suspect we would all offer a similar answer to this and that most will be doing everything they can to forget the past 12 months. I hope that as we continue to navigate these unpredictable waters, that we recognise how well recruitment activity has (finally) evolved beyond its over-reliance on ineffective CV or ‘application form’ driven processes and the opportunities this presents us.

This is great news for you as a candidate; writing CVs is a guessing game which routinely fails to reward the best candidates, rather leaving hiring managers interviewing the best CV writers. 2020 has enforced a change and witnessed the real emergence of video interviewing as a key element of the selection process.

But video interviewing has been around for years right? Well, yes and no. Yes, in that Skype, Zoom, Facetime, Teams alongside many other web conferencing tools have been seen in use where logistically it has been difficult to get people together. But ‘no’ because the interviewing aspect of a hiring process still necessitated a face to face meeting; rarely would a hiring manager be comfortable to make a hiring decision from a video interview alone. They were used to rubber stamp a decision already made. Now we are seeing video interviewing really influence the selection process, with an increasing number of companies incorporating video at the outset of a hiring campaign.

Why is this such good news?

Citing Richard Branson;

"Personality before [resume]. A person who has multiple degrees in your field isn't always better than someone with broad experience and a wonderful personality."

As companies embrace the time saving and effectiveness of video at the start of a hiring process, as a candidate you have a much greater opportunity to present your personality than you can achieve in a CV or application form. A potential ‘no’ can be turned into a ‘yes’. Ganymede’s team has seen many great examples in 2020 where the candidate deemed weakest on paper has proven to be the best in reality!

Whilst we are not all gifted creative writers, it does not mean you are not a gifted Engineer or Project Manager etc, which you will more effectively be able to communicate through video (consider if a picture speaks a thousand words, how many does a video speak?)

I am looking for a new role, what do I need to consider?

Do not rely solely on your CV, LinkedIn profile or application form! We’re not saying these are unimportant, far from it, but as more people are looking for new roles and companies continue to embrace behavioural and personality driven selection methods, candidates can greatly enhance their position in the pack through becoming marketeers of themselves. This too involves embracing the value of video.

Are you confident and comfortable in front of a camera? Most people aren’t, but it gets easier with practice (and practice will give you incredible awareness of how you ‘present’ to others!).

Similarly, do you consider yourself a technology whiz? With the sheer number of video conferencing systems now available, it’s easy to let the nerves of various technology stumbling blocks affect your confidence and make for a disjointed interview. This is why we have invested heavily in our purpose-built virtual platform, Ganymede Connect. With step-by-step tutorials to support you, you can be certain that your only focus will be on the interview content itself - no distractions.

What does this mean for 2021?

Whilst we are only one week into 2021, the year has already provided further ‘change’ to the employment market – Brexit, IR35 legislation change in April and continued unpredictability and uncertainty courtesy of COVID-19.

Within all of the above will be opportunity; investment into the transport and infrastructure sectors remains strong (despite recent amendments) and the pre COVID-19 skills gap hasn’t gone away (it’s just not quite got the same headlines right now).

How you promote yourself, present yourself and highlight your unique personalities will be key to capturing not just any role in 2021, but the role to get excited about. Every company is planning for a strong fightback from the challenges of 2020 – they will certainly be looking for their new hires to contribute to that fight with positivity, energy and imagination. How will you demonstrate yours in your next application?

Ganymede is working with several innovative organisations in the UK transportation and infrastructure sectors who have committed hiring plans for 2021. Many of these businesses have embedded Ganymede Connect into their hiring processes to eliminate unnecessary travel, reduce infection risk inherent with face-to-face meetings and improve the candidate journey from application through to hire.

If you are looking for opportunities with forward thinking companies involved in the construction, improvement and maintenance of the UK’s infrastructure assets, we would be delighted to hear from you and to help you prepare for the changing hiring journey.