The Job Market

This section looks at the job market or labour market as it’s also known. It’s important to take the time to read and understand, as this is the market you are trying to overcome.

The job market is defined as the place where workers and employers interact with one another. It’s where employers and workers come into contact. 

The job market is defined as the place where workers and employers interact with one another.  It’s where employers and workers come into contact. 

A small example of this could be a networking event, trade show or the employers’ premises amongst others.  A reference to place doesn’t always mean a physical location.  The interaction can also be at virtual locations such as a social media page or a website. 

How Big Is The Job Market?

No-one can say for sure exactly how big the job market is.  The reason for this is that it is not easy to estimate the number of employers looking for workers.  It is much easier predicting the number of people looking for work. 


There are many factors that affect the market, some include the type of work, general state of the economy and the outlook for a particular industry.  It varies between countries and even within a country.  Think about instances where people leave a village or town to go to a bigger city in search of work.


Generally speaking there are more people in a city.  More people means more customers. More customers attract more businesses i.e. employers to the city.  This in turn attracts more people to live in the city (or commute there) for work.  The cycle continues and the job market grows.

Supply And Demand 

It all becomes an issue of supply and demand.  So when employers are struggling to hire workers, then that’s when they are more likely to pay more and proactively pursue potential workers.  Then, the job market works in a jobseekers favour. 

Reasons for struggling to hire can be:

·         Very specialist work

·         Dangerous type of work

·         Remote location

·         Strict legal requirements to hiring

·         Small local population with lack of working age people

·         An employer with a bad reputation


The more skilled the work then generally fewer people can do that job so the pool of potential workers reduces.  The employer may then reduce it further by asking for a particular level of experience. 


Click here to find out ways to join the more skilled workers and get better wages.

If there are a lot of people looking for fewer jobs, it results in the market moving in the employers favour. 

This is when there’s likely to be lower wages paid and workers expected to be more flexible regarding work conditions.

So Where Are The Jobs?

An employer can use any of the following ways to advertise jobs (in no particular order):

·        Companies own internet site

·        A job site

·        Social media

·        Recruitment agency

·        Newspapers

·        Word of mouth

·        Job fairs

·        Trade shows

·        Trade publications

·        Or a combination of the above 


No-one can say exactly what percentage of jobs are advertised through the different routes.  However it’s safe to say the majority are on the internet. 


There can be occasions where a company decides there is a need to hire a worker.  Because of the time and expense of advertising/hiring workers, or other pressing needs, they may not get round to advertising immediately. 

So there is a vacancy, but it’s not been advertised.  Such a vacancy is a hidden job


Now imagine a jobseeker just randomly sends a CV with a letter to the company.  The management may see the CV and feel the jobseeker meets the requirements for their hidden job.  They call the jobseeker for an interview.  This is an example where being proactive paid off.


There are occasions where a company had no intention of hiring.  They received a CV with a speculative letter and depending on its contents, might be prepared to invite the applicant for an interview.  Companies can be willing to create a vacancy for a person with the right qualities and skills.


Just like a business doesn’t just open its doors and wait for customers, it must also be proactive to find and target customers.  As a jobseeker, you need to be proactive too.  

Why Don't Employers Reply To Every Job Application

Think about how many adverts from television, radio, billboards, leaflets, junk mail etc. you see during the course of your day to day activities. 

You probably see dozens if not hundreds - it’s impossible for you to pay attention to every advert you see - you wouldn't get anything else done! 

You’re only going to reply to adverts that target your needs and appeal to you at the time. 


The same principle applies to an employer.  They are bombarded with job applications.  Even when an employer isn’t advertising vacancies, they are still receiving CVs, letters and general interest from people regarding potential jobs. 

Employers are very busy people with many things to do. They simply do not have the time to reply to every job application.


Competition to find work has never been as intense as it is today.  20 years ago if an employer advertised for a worker, they might have received 10 to 15 job applications.  The employer usually interviewed most of the applicants before deciding who to take. 


These days it’s more common to hear of at least two hundred people applying for a single job.  The employer will only contact the most suitable applicants, usually 5 to 10 people out of those two hundred (so less than 5% of the applicants).  

That means over 190 didn’t get the job.  Can you imagine writing a personalised letter to 190 people? a big time and cost are involved, luxuries an employer can’t afford.


It’s been said that feedback is the breakfast of champions.  Receiving feedback would be priceless in knowing what to improve on for future job applications.  

If employers aren’t getting back to you, then that is your feedback

Either you don’t meet the requirements for the job or you’ve not piqued the employers’ interest enough.

Click here to see more specific reasons from employers regarding why job applications failed.

The Job Market Demands a Good First Impression

As mentioned it’s common for an employer to receive hundreds of job applications per vacancy. The person making the recruitment decisions will be a business owner or manager - i.e. a VERY busy person, they can only afford to spend a very short time (barely 20 seconds) reading a job application and need to quickly eliminate applications. 


At the same time, an employer will not take a recruitment decision lightly, because hiring the wrong person will reflect badly on the individual who hired, or worst case, could jeopardise the business itself. 


All this combines to make employers ruthless in eliminating applications. Usually they only contact applicants who made a good initial impression.  


Employers Hire Problem Solvers

When an employer advertises a job, they are really saying we have a problem. The problem is that no-one within their company can do a particular function. 

The company needs that function to be met to move forward.  All people hired by companies are hired as problem solvers.  Someone who can fill a need.

You want to position yourself as the problem solver.  Problem solvers are doers, who get things done.  They can be trusted to complete a job well, complete it on time and with minimum supervision. 

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