As the global job market has been roiled by COVID-19, career changers and job seekers face challenges like never before — from virtual networking to making their LinkedIn profiles stand out amongst candidates. As a pioneer in the bootcamp space, General Assembly has learned to pivot and reinvent the train-to-hire approach to help full-time Immersive program graduates get hired. That’s where our global career coaches come in: they know the hiring trends of their cities better than anyone at GA. In this year of great uncertainty, we asked them to share what they’re seeing and how they’re encouraging their students. (Note: These observations represent a collective pulse check of many — not all — of our hiring markets.)
What hiring trends are happening right now?
- Moving into 2021, we’re already seeing improvements, with companies removing hiring freezes and climbing back toward pre-pandemic levels. As of May, recruitment for tech jobs is reaching new highs in many parts of the world, superseding pre-COVID levels. And the race to gain a post-pandemic competitive edge is turning into a talent war between companies.
- Industries that are picking up include computer software, InfoTech, FinTech, marketing and advertising, and EdTech. Companies that are well-funded and have high potential to increase staff are in FinTech, e-commerce, infotech, AI, healthcare, BioTech, robotics, education, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.
- Companies are also investing in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, big data, automation, SaaS (software-as-a-service), and FinTech solutions.
- We’re seeing an increase in hirings from companies with over 10K+ employees. Contributing to this is likely expanded pipelines for underrepresented groups (including those that did not graduate from traditional education pathways). We’re also seeing an uptick in GA grads getting hired by companies with 50 or fewer employees.
- Competition is intense and there are fewer roles: read below for tips on how to stand out (hint: network, network, network).
- There’s an abundance of freelance and contract work available, and companies with under 50 employees can be opportunistic places to apply to. Many smaller companies appear willing to take on junior talent, especially if they have additional projects in their portfolios.
- Some of our Career Coaches have noted that many people taking on short contract work have been able to turn those opportunities into full-time roles. (Many companies appear to be preferring to gauge performance before offering a full-time role.)
- While we have seen companies continue to offer remote-only roles, with the improvement of the vaccine rollout especially in the U.S.,we’re seeing more companies wanting to bring employees back onsite.
What’s the best thing job seekers can do right now?
- Network, network, network. Trust and own your worth and talk to people about what you want to be doing and the value you bring. Believe in word-of-mouth power, and practice as many mock or informational interviews and coffee dates as you can.
- Work on projects, pro bono work, or contract work with a real client or with professionals outside of your discipline. This will help build your resume and create standout applications that show your continuation of technical competencies and collaboration skills.
- Take what you can as quickly as you can. Now isn’t the time to be highly selective or aspire to multiple offers. Because it’s more competitive than ever, the goal is to get started as soon as possible.
- Keep an open mind! Don’t close off any opportunity — everything is worth exploring.
- Consider finding a mentor. You may not get traditional guidance at a startup, but a mentor can be that person to give the support you need. Most mentors are self-found, so there’s never a bad time to start looking.
- Focus on continuing to develop and grow your new skill set while applying and networking, because when you do land an interview, you will need to discuss what you’ve accomplished over the past few months.
- Stay motivated and find time for self-care. Remember that ambiguity is one of the toughest things about a job search. Be consistent about following up if you don’t get responses to initial applications. Make connections with peers and colleagues in the area you’re searching. And remember that it’s ok to be deflated and disappointed by rejection. Once you accept that, you can move onto what you can influence: other opportunities.
What is GA doing differently to support students in this highly competitive job market?
- GA has streamlined its job sourcing strategies to work globally and has created a team of 30 network builders to support the cultivation, engagement, and job sourcing for our students.
- The launching of global initiatives is to benefit all graduates regardless of location — post-course regional networking and coaching sessions are being made available.
- A partnership with our sister company, Hired, allows GA grads to create profiles and put them directly in front of over 8,000 hiring organizations.
- Our career coaches continue to be deeply invested in their 1:1 coaching and strategy work with grads.
- Teams in our local markets regularly provide pulse checks of cities’ hiring trends, jobs particular to the region, and the landscape of how tech is evolving in each location.
Leaping into a new career is daunting at any point in life, especially at this moment, but we hope this advice from our career coaches is reassuring.
Remember, you’re not in this alone!
We are right beside you.