Career Advice

What You Need to Get Hired in 2020

Young woman in hijab and friend sitting on subway train looking at smartphones

Welcome to 2020, a new year and a brand new decade offering you the perfect opportunity to find the job of your dreams. 2020 follows a year that brought us an unemployment rate at a record 50-year low of 3.7 percent. This is an excellent time to find the job of your dreams, as long as you know where to look for the jobs. Currently, the recruiting industry, like many industries, is facing a war for talent

As a leader of a company that recruits for 150+ clients including numerous Fortune 500 companies and many government agencies across the country, I see trends evolving that will affect a job search. There are many jobs available, but not enough candidates skilled to fill these jobs. Before we get into the skills needed to acquire these hot jobs, it’s important to recognize the cultural shifts occurring in the world of work. If you’re aware of these trends they can guide you in your job search. 

Knowledge Work Rules

First off, the U.S. is continuing the long-term trend towards being a knowledge worker-based economy. Compounded with the important push to increase women and people of color in STEM-driven industries and roles, many companies are beginning to normalize remote work and flexible schedules. This allows companies to be based anywhere, opening up the pool of talent. If you don’t live near Silicon Valley, Seattle, or New York, you may still be able to work for a startup or Big Tech company, if you have the skills they are seeking. 

Automation Creates New Opportunities

As technological innovations such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and robotics continue to mature, we’ll see major changes across the board in all industries. Automation is set to shift work away from rote tasks that can be completed efficiently via AI. In automation’s wake, new positions will emerge that co-exist and support AI. 

Strong Workplace Culture is an Attractor 

In addition to this major driving force of change, there is a continued increase in strong workplace culture as a requirement for workers and job seekers alike. Companies that do not create a diverse and inclusive workplace will be at a loss, as a strong workplace culture is linked to talent attraction, innovation, and better productivity. When seeking a job, target companies that you have researched to be certain their culture aligns with your values. 

Contingent Work Opportunities in 2020

Contingent work offers many benefits that align with the trends listed above. Contingent work is flexible, skills-focused, and offers opportunities that may allow workers to get their foot in the door in any industry. Contingent recruiting firms provide all types of jobs to their clients, including business and professional services, light and heavy industrial, healthcare, and IT roles. There are numerous opportunities available to work for top companies. Many clients are known to provide formalized training to contingent workers, enabling upskilling necessary to stay ahead in the workforce. Contingent work also offers job opportunities for those with expert- or advanced-level niche work experience, especially in the IT and professional services sectors. Since hiring is based predominately on skills, Contingent positions are normally not plagued by a gender gap, ageism, or other problematic issues. 

As a company that hires 10,000 Contingent workers every year, we see popular jobs such as: 

These roles require numerous skills, but these top skills are the ones that are the most sought after:

  1. People skills/EQ: Candidates with good people skills are very marketable. The ability to communicate effectively, be adaptable, have empathy for others, be creative, and have a deep understanding of human behavior sets you apart from the crowd. Our clients often go out of their way to retain candidates with good people skills.
  2. Program and Project Management skills: Candidates who have these are effective leaders. They understand risk and cost management, are great communicators, have knowledge of Salesforce CRM, Agile, are tech-savvy, and critical thinkers. 
  3. Data Analysis skills: Candidates who have programming languages such as SQL, R or Python specific to the position, the ability to mine and visualize data, critical thinking and reasoning abilities, and expert mathematical abilities are in demand. The next level of data analysis will require predictive modeling and machine learning knowledge, so those interested in applying for data science positions should consider upskilling for marketability.  
  4. Cloud computing skills: Many positions such as software and DevOps engineers, back-end developers, systems administrators, and Data Scientists will increasingly require cloud skills as this job market continues to expand. There are numerous opportunities in SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, and Google Cloud are top cloud providers currently.
  5. Programming Languages and Operating Systems skills: Knowledge of languages such as SQL, Java, JavaScript, Python, .NET, C#, HTML, and CSS is critical for a number of IT positions. Experience with Linux and Unix is also in demand.

The 2020s are set to bring numerous advancements by way of technology. The contingent and gig workforces will both become more mainstream, as an increasing number of workers opt for flexibility. AI will require full-time traditional workers to upskill their knowledge and become adaptable to rapid changes. For those seeking to become more flexible, or to have the option to work for a variety of companies instead of limiting themselves to only one, contingent work is a great option that can lead you to the career of your dreams. 

Sue Bhatia founded Rose International, the 24th largest IT staffing company in the U.S. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, Rose International employs thousands of people in all 50 states, and has offices and service delivery centers in 20+ U.S. cities and India.