How Employable Are You?

How Employable Are You?

Gone are the days of hunkering down at work to weather the economic storm, a time when most workers were merely thankful to be employed. Today, the perception prevails that career opportunities are on the rise. 

Kelly® surveyed professional and technical workers – those who work in healthcare, engineering, IT, finance and accounting, and scientific and clinical fields – to gauge their views on the job market. These skilled professionals were asked if they believe they’re in high demand, and if they feel like they’re in a good bargaining position to secure a similar or better position. The results show that workers are more confident and empowered than ever, with 59 percent feeling they are in high demand and 68 percent saying they are in a good position to bargain.

But is the current perception correct? Are you overconfident about your employability? To answer these questions, it’s best to consider how your skills are perceived by those who make the hiring decisions.

Hiring managers were asked how they perceive the talent shortage and what they see as the future for the positions they hire for. The results? Nearly half of all hiring managers (45 percent) agree that professional and technical workers are in short supply, and most of the hiring managers (40 percent) see the shortage continuing into the future. 

When comparing what workers observe versus what hiring managers identify with, a cautionary tale for professionals emerges. In some cases, professionals may be overestimating their power:  

  • Professionals who feel they are in-demand – 59%
  • Hiring managers who feel there is a talent shortage – 45%

Engineering and healthcare workers in particular feel highly empowered, but perhaps rightfully so – the majority of engineering and healthcare hiring managers agree that talent shortages exist.

Accounting and finance professionals, however, may be overrating both their demand and bargaining power. While the availability of talent remains a concern, the perceived shortage of talent was significantly lower among accounting and finance hiring managers. The same was true for scientific fields, followed next by IT. Workers in both fields had slightly higher tendencies to feel in-demand compared to their hiring manager counterparts who were less worried about finding talent.

Today, companies use a variety of tools to determine a worker’s merits and “fit” for a position. When it comes to negotiating your next position, it’s important to know how in-demand your skills are. In any job market, professionals should never be so overconfident that they underestimate the importance of nailing the interview or standing out from the pack of applicants. In fact, a whopping 85 percent of hiring managers said the top mistake candidates make during an interview, which prevents them from moving forward, is acting arrogant or ungrateful for the opportunity.

Survey methodology: The 2015 Hiring Manager Research (U.S./Canada) was conducted by RDA Group on behalf of Kelly. Over 1,000 hiring managers in the U.S. and Canada were surveyed. Participants have direct hiring responsibilities for talent in healthcare, engineering, finance and accounting, IT, and scientific fields. Results represent a cross section of industries and career disciplines.