If your New Year's resolutions include looking for a new job, you’re not alone. More than half of technologists in our recent survey said they are likely to change employers in the next 12 months (up from 44 percent a year ago).
Before starting your search, however, it's essential to research and prepare, especially when the way companies recruit and hire tech professionals is continuing to change.
For example, many tech hiring managers aren’t taking a holiday break, explained Jackie Vazquez, senior director of technology at Tandym Group. They’re interviewing during the holidays and scheduling interviews for the beginning of 2023, once new budgets go into effect. Also, companies committed to boosting the candidate experience are shortening the hiring process, slicing away at the interview rounds and testing that make the process interminable for candidates.
Bottom line: you could miss out on a prime opportunity at your dream company unless you get on the hiring manager’s radar now. Don’t fall behind the competition. Given that job search success is 80 percent preparation, 20 percent execution, you'll want to take these steps right away to hit the ground running in 2023.
Figure Out What You Don’t Want
Start with a list of the things you don’t want to do anymore and remove or downplay references to any related skills, achievements and duties in your resume, online profiles and interview talking points, advised Lisa Rangel, executive resume writer and CEO of Chameleon Resumes.
Unless you align your online information and success stories with the job you really want, you’ll be flooded with calls and inquires for jobs you no longer want.
Be Clear About What You Do Want
Progressive employers are embracing flexibility as a way to attract and retain top talent. They are no longer looking for “unicorns” who are proficient with all the latest technologies and tools; many are willing to train or offer flexible work schedules and policies as long as you’re clear about what you want in an employer.
It’s part of a greater movement toward transparency throughout the hiring process, Vazquez explained. From salary and benefits to job titles, duties, expectations and descriptions of the company’s culture, transparency is now viewed as the best way to best way to attract, engage and retain top tech talent.
“Transparency for candidates is paramount too,” Vazquez added. If you’re looking to gain more experience in a certain area, would like to earn a bonus, or want the freedom to work from home on specific days, be clear about what you want.
At the same time, conduct careful research about the prevailing wage for your skillset and consider any trade-offs you are willing to make. Even though demand is high, technical candidates may not automatically get a 10 percent jump by changing jobs, advised Neil Costa, CEO and co-founder of HireClix. Consider whether you might be willing to take less to work for a company that matches your values or offers other benefits.
Do Your Due Diligence
You don’t have to settle. Research the market and connect with current and former employees to target companies that have publicly committed to having the best workplace culture including pay, benefits and work-life balance.
Make sure the companies you target are on a healthy financial trajectory, Costa added. For instance, if they’ve proactively trimmed their workforce in response to the recent economic headlines, or their messaging around culture isn’t authentic, you may want to think twice about accepting a position with the company.
Take Advantage of Skills-Based Hiring
While hiring for technology positions has traditionally focused on technical or hard skills, many large corporations have recently announced they are dropping the degree requirements for some middle-skill and even higher-skill roles.
For instance, by the end of 2021, only 43 percent of postings for IT jobs at Accenture contained a degree requirement; at IBM, only 29 percent did. Technology professionals who want to take advantage of the trend toward skills-based hiring should certify or recertify in-demand skills before hitting the market.
To help you stand out and make it past the automated resume screening process (ATS), focus your resume and online profiles on specific skills and aspects of your experience that are most transferable to the job you're seeking.
Escape the Expanding Black Hole
It’s a bit of a paradox. On the one hand, companies are trying to shorten the hiring process in an attempt to hire qualified tech professionals. On the other, in-house recruiters are increasingly using robotic process automation and A.I. to source, screen, sort and rank candidates for open positions.
To avoid the growing “black hole” of automation—and have your application materials viewed by a human being as quickly as possible—reach out to a hiring manager directly via email or LinkedIn. You can also find a recruiter who has a relationship with the company you want to work for.
Companies are increasingly building pipelines or “pools” of qualified technologists they may want to hire for future positions. Even if you are happy where you are, establish a relationship with your target companies. After all, there’s no harm in talking. You never know where it might lead in 2023.