Job Trends 2008: How to get ahead

January 4, 2008 6:44:04 AM PST
Is finding a new job on your list of New Year's resolutions? Highlights:
* 32% of employers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in 2008

* Hot Jobs:
Professional & Business Services
Financial Services
Hospitality and Retail

Major Trends:
Employers continue to struggle with a shortage of skilled labor. Forty percent report they currently have open positions for which they can't find qualified candidates. Recruitment and retention efforts are becoming more competitive and job seekers stand to benefit in terms of higher pay, more flexible work arrangements and more promotions.

* Bigger Paychecks - 80% of employers plan to increase salaries for existing staff in 2008; 56% plan to increase salaries on initial offers to new employees.

* More Flex-time - 60% of employers say they currently offer flexible schedules and 39% plan to provide more flexible work arrangements in the New Year including alternate schedules, compressed workweeks, telecommuting, job sharing and sabbaticals.

* More Promotions - With more than half of workers stating that the company's ability to offer career advancement opportunities is more important than salary, 26% of employers say they will provide more promotions in 2008.

* Opportunities for retirees - Employers are voicing concern over the loss of intellectual capital as a large number of Baby Boomers approach retirement age; 21% of employers plan to rehire retirees from other companies and another 14% plan to provide incentives for existing staff to postpone retirement.

* Opportunities for freelancers - As companies monitor their pace in recruiting permanent employers, 31% anticipate working with freelancers or contractors in 2008.

Tips for Job Search:

1) Use of social networks like, and to get referral

These sites are used as complimentary tools to larger job search sites and are often used to screen candidates. In our forecast, we actually found 45% of employers use online search engines and social networking site to research job candidates. So, it's important to make sure to convey a professional image on your pages

2) State your case. Cite specific contributions you've made to employers in your resume; new challenges or additional responsibilities you took on; ideas you had that were implemented; increased sales or efficiencies, etc. Numbers speak louder than words, so quantify results when possible.

3) Come to the interview with the ideas for the company. That way it shows you're already thinking like an employee and conveys your enthusiasm for the position.

4) Know your value when negotiating. Check out what your position typically pays via online salary calculators like

Visit for job postings and more information.