In our current economy, there are strong concerns of the lack of employment opportunities due to global uncertainty. More recently, concerns on falling commodity prices and the declining Canadian dollar have resulted in impacts to the profitability of organizations through the heightened cost of conducting business within this environment. The article below discusses methods to seek out employment in light of the global decline being faced today.
1. Organizations are looking towards a contingent or casual workface.
An employee under this working arrangement has no guaranteed hours and is scheduled based on required business needs rather than on a set schedule. The employee in turn would only be paid for hours that are worked. A contingent employee will provide an organization with more flexibility with regards to scheduling and a lower fixed overhead cost. The hours remain variable dependent on volume of incoming work. This is a great cost-savings for an organization in the time of high economic uncertainty.
What impact does this have on a job seeker? This type of work arrangement will allow for the time required for those looking to pursue continuing education/professional development opportunities. For those with young children or ill family members, it may provide the required flexibility to attend these related needs.
In addition, a casual working arrangement may allow for an additional employment opportunity with the hours now available for work. If there is a large enough fluctuation between a rise and drop in work and there has been a seven-day break in service, there may be E.I. eligibility depending on meeting criteria (hours worked to date, etc.).
In order to demonstrate reception towards this, job seekers can search under the wording “casual employment” on job boards. Other options include expressing interest in this type of working arrangement to previous employers or recruitment agencies.
2. There is an increasing presence of contract work opportunities for a defined period of time (set-start and end-date).
Anticipated work may only be during a peak period and a contract allows employers the opportunity to extend if required. A contract agreement ensures employment during that particular defined period. It also provides an opportunity for coverage for employees on a leave of absence (maternity leave, sick leave and any personal leaves).
What impact does this have on a job seeker? This provides a fantastic opportunity to work in a variety of positions within a particular field. These experiences will add value to a resume or portfolio and may result in an opportunity to work with different systems and build a portfolio of experience.
In addition to this, a job seeker will also gain exposure to an organization without having to commit long-term to determine whether it is a good fit. A candidate can experience different working environments and industries, as well as to develop contacts and develop a professional network.
3. Employers are looking towards shifting towards part-time opportunities.
As per the reasons indicated above, within an environment of economic uncertainty employers may be unable to guarantee full-time hours. This work arrangement will provide an employer with the added flexibility to sustain a larger work force through a reduction in hours (variety of skillsets, etc.)
What impact does this have on a job seeker? The benefits of such a work arrangement would be many of the same as already mentioned. The primary difference is some extended benefits may be obtained through this work opportunity including medical and dental coverage, RRSP, etc.
4. There has been a recent shift from monetary to non-monetary rewards and incentives for the total-compensation package.
This has less immediate impacts to the bottom line where possible. An example of this would be instead of a signing bonus option, there may be an additional week of vacation provided.
What impact does this have on a job seeker? A job seeker now has the ability to use other non-monetary options of interest in that could be benefit of you and the organization such a telecommuting, unpaid days off to pursue study leave and so forth.
One of the things to continue to keep in mind is stated in the following quote “If opportunity doesn’t knock, then build a door” — Milton Berle
The key takeaway I would recommend is to use this opportunity to continue to build your skillsets where possible. A short-term opportunity is still of benefit as it provides exposure to a possible new industry, use of a new system/tool and ongoing development of your personal portfolio. If an opportunity cannot be found, try looking into continuing education. With the tightened workforce, employers are looking for staff who can add value cross-functionality.
I encourage you to make every effort to differentiate yourself in today’s job market, if you continue to diversify than you will reach success. Good luck everyone!Tags: career planning, industry trends, job search