Strate­gies for job seek­ers

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - Blake Doyle is The Guardian’s small busi­ness colum­nist. He can be reached at blake@is­landrecruit­

For any­one dis­be­liev­ing the Cana­dian econ­omy was in a frag­ile state, the gover­nor of the Bank of Canada con­firmed your fears ear­lier this month. If the un­ex­pected rate slash was an ac­knowl­edg­ment of just how chal­lenged the econ­omy is, then we can an­tic­i­pate more un­rest in the labour mar­kets.

In dif­fi­cult times the pen­du­lum of ad­van­tage swings to the em­ployer, greater ac­cess to tal­ent and less com­pe­ti­tion to re­tain staff.

Job seek­ers must be adap­tive in times of tur­moil. They must be cre­ative mar­keters of them­selves and ef­fec­tively pro­mote their ac­com­plish­ments to cre­ate ad­van­tage.

One-trend job seek­ers can ex­pect to see more of, are job align­ment assess­ments, per­son­al­ity and ap­ti­tude test­ing. Em­ploy­ers can af­ford to be more se­lec­tive in the hir­ing process when there is a sur­plus of labour.

There are many firms on P.E.I. who rely on tests to en­sure em­ploy­ees are a good cul­tural fit and bring com­ple­men­tary skills to a work en­vi­ron­ment. Ac­cord­ing to a Har­vard Busi­ness Re­view ar­ti­cle, global es­ti­mates sug­gest that tests are used for 72 per cent of mid­dle man­age­ment po­si­tions and up to 80 per cent of se­nior roles, com­pared with 59 per cent of en­try-level po­si­tions.

If you haven’t been ex­posed to em­ploy­ment test­ing, you most likely will be. It is an­tic­i­pated that com­pa­nies will in­crease their re­liance on these tests in the com­ing years.

When be­ing in­ter­viewed, if you are con­fronted with one of these ‘tests’ take it se­ri­ously. Face it like any test you have en­coun­tered and be pre­pared — study. Ac­cord­ing to To­mas Cham­mor­roCEO of Ho­gan Assess­ments em­ploy­ers are gen­er­ally look­ing to mea­sure three main fac­tors: com­pe­tence, work ethic and emo­tional in­tel­li­gence (self man­age­ment, so­cial skills, em­pa­thy, etc).

When tak­ing these tests good ad­vice is to be your­self and be hon­est. Em­ploy­ers are nor­mally not look­ing for some­one who scores ex­cep­tion­ally high, but scores in a nor­mal range, can work well with oth­ers and com­ple­ment the ex­ist­ing team mem­bers. You want to rep­re­sent your ac­tual be­hav­iours, ap­ti­tudes and skills.

Tests are in­creas­ingly ad­min­is­tered online and are be­ing deigned with com­pli­cated eval­u­a­tion al­go­rithms. To­mas Cham­morro-Pre­muzic also sug­gests these tests can be used to as­sess an em­ployer; what are their ex­pec­ta­tions, what traits mat­ter most to an em­ployer. This is help­ful as you also do your own as­sess­ment on a po­ten­tial em­ployer.

If, as I be­lieve, the econ­omy has been con­tract­ing in Canada; then job seek­ers must adapt. Be ready for new sys­tems and the eval­u­a­tion meth­ods of em­ploy­ers. Be pre­pared for a com­pet­i­tive and tar­geted hir­ing process, and make sure you are one of the suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants by be­ing ready for the new hir­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

Busi­ness Edge

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