This year proved difficult for young professionals and older job seekers alike with little opportunity and slashed budgets. However, many organizations and individual reports are predicting an improved job market for 2011.
Modest increase in salaries. According to The Conference Board annual salary increase report, 2011 will show a modest increase in employee salaries. In 2010, the median salary increase budget was 2.5 percent. Projections for 2011 expect a modest increase to 3 percent.
Increased emphasis of “soft skills.” According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2011 Job Outlook Survey, verbal communication skills are at the top of the list of skills employers are seeking in new college graduates. Following close behind, employers are looking for college grads to have a strong work ethic, teamwork skills, analytical skills, and initiative.
More social recruiting in the hiring process. In 2010, both employers and candidates realized the importance of utilizing social media tools in hiring and recruiting, and this trend will continue to increase in 2011. Employers also saw the opportunity to streamline processes and save money in recruiting. Recruiters and employers will continue searching for candidates using tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter and will likely look at investing in more comprehensive social recruiting tools for better metrics and analysis for their program.
Majority of employers recruiting during the fall. Employers will continue to recruit their top candidates early as they’ve done in the past three years. According to NACE, employers expect to conduct nearly two-thirds of their recruiting in the fall in the coming year. About one-third of recruiting will take place in the spring.
More focus on personal branding. A major buzzword in the careers space in 2010 was “personal branding”—focusing on an individual’s brand and how it reflects them as an employee and individual. In 2011, job seekers will continue to focus on their personal brand and look to online tools to maintain their brand easily and efficiently.
Increased college hiring. NACE also reports employers anticipate hiring 13.5 percent more 2011 college graduates than they hired from the class of 2010. Nearly half of employers surveyed expect to increase hiring; about 40 percent expect to maintain the same hiring levels of college grads.
Steady competition but more openings. Many employers are predicting increased job openings in 2011; however, the job market will still be competitive for job seekers.