How You’ll Search For A Job In 2017

Expect to take assessments, interact with artificial intelligence, use passive job-seeking platforms, and more.

How You’ll Search For A Job In 2017
[Photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images]

According to Glassdoor’s newest report on job trends, there are close to 6 million jobs to be filled right now, a record number since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking job openings in 2000. Another growing trend is that nearly every employer is hiring for tech roles. A recent report from job market analytics firm Burning Glass found that there were as many as 7 million job openings last year that required coding skills.


So if you’re among the 40% of workers who are actively looking for a new position or planning to hunt in 2017, here are some things that will play into how you find and land that new job.

You Might Get Your Best Job Offers When You’re Not Looking

In a job market that favors the seeker, the old adage that it’s best to look for a job when you already have one has never been more true. According to a LinkedIn report, 85% of people–known in HR parlance as “passive job seekers”–are employed and satisfied with their position. Yet nearly half (45%) say they’d be willing to talk to a recruiter about a potential opportunity.

If you’re among this group of not-so-active seekers and have tech talent, there are a burgeoning number of platforms designed to help connect you with your next job. The likes of Woo, Jobr, Switch, and Anthology let employed workers post what it would take to get them to switch jobs anonymously. That includes requests for flex work, relocation, and the size of the company, in addition to salary and benefits requirements.

Expect To Take Assessments

According to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 13% of U.S. employers utilize personality assessments. About 2.5 million people take the Meyers-Briggs test each year, and it’s used by 89 of the Fortune 100 companies. Nick Shaw, managing director of CEB Talent Assessment for the U.K. and Ireland, says that cognitive and behavioral assessments are designed to find the right person with the right skills that will best fit into an organization–something that’s in the candidate’s best interest, too, because there’s nothing worse than learning that your “dream” job is actually a nightmare.

Shaw recommends trying to be as open and honest as possible to avoid creating the illusion that you’ll fit in if you won’t. “In advance of an interview process, candidates should reflect on successful outcomes that they have achieved, the behaviors they demonstrated, and how these relate to the role for which they have applied,” Shaw says. Candidates should familiarize themselves with the requirements of the test, and practice similar questions in advance to ensure that they are not fazed under the time pressure of the test, he advises. 


Consider Career Coaching Or Skill Development

“In 2017, we predict a rise in pre-hire coaching and skills development as employers and people look to find the perfect fit,” says Jonas Prising, chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup. The company currently partners with LearnUp, a pioneering pre-hire coaching platform, to help get entry-level candidates work ready. “This approach to coaching people into roles rather than screening them out offers short online assessment, coaching, and real-life scenarios connected to open positions,” he explains. “It’s a win-win, helping individuals develop important skills and matching employers to ready-to-succeed workers who start strong, develop skills, and stay longer.”

Expect to Rely (Even More) On Social Media

Seventy-nine percent of job seekers use social media in their job search. This figure jumps to 86% for younger job seekers who are in the first 10 years of their careers, .

LinkedIn may seem like the obvious choice, but don’t just farm your first-degree connections. Data from the platform suggests that “weak connections” can be key. That’s because people are more likely to be referred for jobs by their second- and third-degree connections. Similar findings came out of a study of Facebook users.

And there’s a lot to be said for applying for a job using a creative approach on Snapchat. Last summer, we reported on how one college student landed a coveted spot at a media agency, simply by doing his homework and crafting a clever geofilter for the company.

Expect To Interact With Artificial Intelligence

AI is becoming more prevalent in all areas of our work this year. So it’s no surprise that advancements in machine learning and chatbots are going to play a part in the job search. For example, Mya is a chatbot that walks candidates through the application process and “helps” them get better positioned for making it to the interview stage. Mya asks questions about the applicant’s experience and gives them a chance to sell themselves in a way that just providing their resume doesn’t.


Location Might No Longer Hold You Back

As we discovered last year, where you are located isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for an employer anymore. So plan to cast the net wider when job hunting. As FlexJobs recently revealed by cross-referencing the list of U.S. News List of 100 Best Jobs with employer listings in its database, more than half (56) of the jobs listed regularly offer flexible work options.

Positions included everything from accounting to administrative assistant, art director to biochemist. Health care jobs such as pharmacist and anesthesiologist were included, as were tech positions such as IT manager, software developer, and information security analyst.

About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.