If looking for a new job has been on the top of your list of New Year resolutions, time couldn’t be better to get a start on it.
The generalist is set to fade away
Year 2008 has begun on a positive note for those looking for new jobs, and employers brace themselves up for yet another war for talent in a progressively competitive market
Here are some of the top global employment trends for this year.
The availability of jobs will be plentiful, but there will also be tough competition to beat for those jobs out there. And as the demand for skilled workers goes up and productivity plateaus, employers are prepared to offer bigger salaries, more promotions, raises and bonuses to attract and retain qualified workers. The bar for starting salaries will also go up, with 69 per cent of employers saying that they are prepared to offer higher starting salaries to attract new recruits, up from 55 per cent in 2007. The market is particularly bright for Indians working in MNCs, with soaring corporate profits likely to translate into handsome increments for employees. India is likely to witness a jump of about 14 per cent in salary increments this year, with the biggest hikes coming in the variable pay segment as companies struggle to find a balance between conserving economy and maximising productivity.
Demand for specialised skills
A good year for knowledge workers. Highly trained workers and those with specialised skills will be in great demand and earn bigger paychecks. The era of the generalist is fast fading to give way to new niche disciplines requiring a high degree of specialisation and industry specific knowledge. Yesterday’s human resources professional will become today’s workforce planning consultant, labor relations expert, training manager or PR specialist. Soft skills come at a premium, and those with strong communication, leadership, and relationship skills enjoy a distinct advantage over the others and benefit from better opportunities and bigger raises.
More spending on training
With the cost of hiring trained and experienced employees going through the roof, more companies show a willingness to invest heavily on training. Organisations are increasingly recruiting across the board and taking in workers who may not have experience in their particular industry or field, but have transferable skills and training them to suit their needs.
Diverse, multigenerational workforce
A new generation of yuppies join the boomers, X and Y generations, and as boomers facing retirement show no signs of wanting to hang up their boots, we are entering into an era of the multi generational workforce, where the young, the middle aged and the old learn to work together in harmony. There will be greater influx of people aged 50-65 in the work force, as early retirement, growing concern over loss of intellectual capital and flexible work arrangements make it easier for retirees to return to the workforce. And since most of them have spent their career working in permanent jobs with excellent retirement benefits, this group is likely to get the best of both worlds.
With more companies instituting specific policies on diversity recruitment, the workforce will also turn multilingual and multicultural with a vengance. Women are likely to enter the workforce in greater numbers than ever before. The trend of hiring employees from overseas is also catching on, paving the way for greater intermingling of people from diverse national and cultural backgrounds.
Freelancers, independent contractors gain popularity
Freelancers, on-call workers and independent contractors will gain popularity as companies look to save costs on health and retirement benefits. This trend is likely to be particularly obvious in creative fields such as writing, graphic design, and filmmaking and web design as also in software programming, consulting and office administration.
Flexible work arrangements, work at home jobs
As employees grapple with the challenges of work and better work-life balance, alternative work arrangements such as flextime, job rotation, compressed work week, part time jobs will become popular across all age groups.
Technology and instant connectivity have paved the way for telecommuting and work at home jobs. This has led to a surge in of home-based offices and businesses across the globe. Work at home jobs are also starting to pay well, and can include all kinds of work ranging from simple data entry and medical transcription to backend administrative work and project management.
Overall, it is a good year for employees and those looking for new jobs. And with the economy registering a healthy growth rate, things can only get better as the year progresses.
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