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Why 2017 Is Going to Be the Best Job Market in Years
Updated: Dec 23, 2016 5:41 PM Eastern
It’s a job seeker’s market.
Openings hit an all-time high in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—and the 2017 outlook is particularly rosy for mid- to senior-level workers. “We expect robust demand for experienced workers,” says Steven Lindner, executive partner of recruiting firm the WorkPlace Group.
Meanwhile, the wage premium for switching jobs is near its highest point in years. “People are leaving because there are better alternatives,” says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor. “And generally, when people leave a job for a pay raise, it can be significant—10% to 20%.”
While an employment boost sets you up for a big raise, it’s up to you to make it happen. Here’s what you need to do.
Test-drive new tools
Try new apps like Jobscan, which lets you tailor your résumé to postings by identifying key words, or Switch, which works like swipe-right dating app Tinder to pair you with hiring managers. And use LinkedIn’s new Open Candidates setting to tell everyone but your employer that you’re on the market.
Flaunt your skills
Even if you’re not in IT, know which tech skills you’ll need to get a new job in 2017, says Katie Bardaro, lead economist at job site PayScale. Update your résumé to highlight tools you already use—Workday software in HR, for instance. And if the ads in your field seek a skill you don’t have, find classes nearby or online, via sites like Lynda.com and Coursera.
Use your leverage if you stay put
Don’t want to leave your gig? Pay is forecast to rise only 3% next year for workers who don’t change jobs—though high performers can expect a 4.9% bump, Mercer finds. Talk to your manager, says career coach Roy Cohen— and don’t be afraid to brag. “You’ll advance by highlighting areas of particular distinction,” he says.
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New Jersey’s unemployment rate fell for the second consecutive month down 0.2 percentage points in July to 5.9 percent – the state’s lowest unemployment level since September 2008 and down from a high of 9.8 percent in January 2010 when the Christie Administration entered office, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The long-term BLS data for New Jersey remains positive, with the BLS employer survey showing 19,900 jobs added over the past year (July 2014 – July 2015) and private sector employment growing by 174,900 jobs since February 2010, the recessionary low point for private sector employment. The preliminary report for July was mixed with the BLS employer survey showing private and public sector employment contracted over the month, (private -12,300; public -1,300), while the BLS resident household survey showed 45,900 more New Jersey residents reporting to be employed than a year ago.
The July data showed a seasonally adjusted total nonfarm wage and salary employment level in New Jersey at 3,986,000. The Garden State’s labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people employed or actively seeking work, continued to best the national rate, 63.9 percent to 62.6 percent.
The BLS preliminary estimates for July show gains in trade, transportation and utilities (+4,300) and education and health services (+300). Industries registering contractions include leisure and hospitality (-7,400), professional and business services (-5,200) and financial activities (-2,700). Smaller contractions were in information (-1,200), other services (-200) and construction (-100). Manufacturing remained unchanged.
Based on additional reporting from employers, estimates for June were revised to an over-the-month total nonfarm level of -12,500.
At some point during your career, you’ll want to advance within the business you work for, and a promotion is probably the best and only way you can do this.
However, getting a promotion isn’t as simple as asking for one or waiting for a colleague to leave – you have to be proactive and work for it.
Also, it’s not just enough to be good at your job, you have to make it clear that you want a promotion and make yourself stand out in the office.
With that in mind, here are some tips on increasing your chances of landing a promotion.
Make Your Interests Known
A lot of the time, people are recommended for promotion, or the decision makers will have someone in mind for the position.
Speak to your boss about your desire to progress within the business, and make it clear that you’re looking for a more senior position within the company.
This can pay off as – not only can your boss recommend you for any internal vacancies – but they can give you certain projects and tasks to work on that will boost your chances.
Find Out What You Need To Do
When you want a promotion, it’s a good idea to discover exactly what you need to have achieved to be seriously considered by the decision makers.
Approach your boss about your career in general, and ask what sort of things you can be doing to maximise your chances of promotion.
This is also a good idea as it stops your boss feeling like you’re going behind their back – it’s vital to have as many people on your side as possible when it comes to progressing within an organisation.
Befriend A Mentor
One of the best ways of discovering how you can really get a promotion is by talking to someone who has gotten one themselves.
Take the time to get to know a colleague in your department who has recently been promoted and try and pick their brains on how they went about it, what the process was and what you can do to achieve something similar.
This will give you a much more honest and realistic insight into what steps you can take to maximise your chances of getting a promotion than your boss or HR might give you, as they’re normally bound by certain company policies and restrictions.
Do Your Own Job Well
While it might be tempting to forgo your usual day-to-day tasks and responsibilities to prove that you would be able to perform at a more senior level, this can backfire if your boss notices that you’ve been slacking on your “normal” job requirements.
Make sure you put your all into every task you complete as you would normally do, as this is the one of the key ways you’ll be taken seriously by decision makers.
When deciding whether to offer you a promotion or not, senior staff will look at your current work ethic, as well as your ability to perform at a higher level so there isn’t really any room for error.
When it comes to corporate diversity efforts, New Jersey can hold its head high. DiversityInc announced the results of its annual Top 50 Companies for Diversity on Thursday night, and Garden State firms were well-represented on the list.
Eight New Jersey companies made the Top 40, including three in the Top 10 and one earning the No. 1 overall spot — for the second year in a row.
East Hanover-based Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation was the big name, finishing first for the second consecutive year, as well as earning a “special award” as the Top Company for Diversity-Management Progress.
“This honor recognizes the passion and commitment of our associates who make diversity and inclusion an integral part of their daily work,” Rhonda Crichlow, Novartis vice president and head of U.S. diversity and inclusion, said in a prepared statement. “Diversity and inclusion is completely aligned with what matters most to us — using sustainable business practices to meet the current and future needs of our customers, and keeping patients at the center of everything we do.”
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Novartis also ranked first on DiversityInc’s list in 2014.
“We are thrilled to be recognized as the top company by DiversityInc again this year,” Christi Shaw, president of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and president of Novartis Corporation, said in a statement. “We believe that diversity and inclusion are directly linked to achieving our goals of creating solutions that help patients manage their diseases and live fuller, healthier lives. Encouraging diversity and inclusion helps us create a culture where people can be authentic and courageous, where collaboration can flourish and where greater patient and customer understanding can drive future breakthroughs and innovations.”
Luke Visconti, CEO of Princeton-based DiversityInc, said: “Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation becomes the first company to ever be No. 1 two years in a row. This is a remarkable achievement. Under the leadership of President Christi Shaw and U.S. D&I head Rhonda Crichlow, the company has developed a remarkable pipeline for underrepresented groups, especially women, who comprise 60 percent of Christi’s direct reports.”
Prudential Financial, based in Newark, ranked eighth on the list, with New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson just one spot behind. They also finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in 2014.
DiversityInc pointed out that Prudential has made the list every year, while J&J has made the list for nine years in a row.
Merck & Co., based in Kenilworth — No. 16 — and ADP, based in Roseland — No. 20 — also earned places in the top half of the list. In addition, Merck was named the Top Company for Employee Resource Groups.
While Merck slipped from a No. 14 ranking in 2014, ADP rose from the No. 24 spot.
Other New Jersey companies earning spots in the ranking included:
•No. 28: BASF, based in Florham Park (No. 26 in 2014);
•No. 29: Wyndham Worldwide, based in Parsippany, which also was named Top Company for Supplier Diversity (jumping 10 spots from No. 39 in 2014);
•No. 39: TD Bank, based in Cherry Hill (No. 45 in 2014).
DiversityInc also ranked some specialized companies in 2015, and New Jersey acquitted itself nicely there, as well.
•Merck, for instance, ranked No. 1 on the Top 10 Companies for Employee Resource Groups, and Novartis was No. 7 on the same list;
•Novartis ranked No. 2 on the Top 10 Companies for Recruitment, with Prudential one spot behind at No. 3 and Johnson & Johnson coming in at No. 9;
•Prudential was No. 2 on the Top 10 Companies for Veterans;
•Prudential also was No. 2 on the Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities, and Merck was No. 6;
•Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey was No. 3 on the Top 10 Regional Companies;
•Wyndham was No. 4 on the Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity, No. 6 on the Top 10 Companies for Global Diversity and No. 7 on the Top 10 Companies for Diversity Councils;
•Prudential also made the Top 10 Companies for Mentoring list, at No. 10.
DiversityInc said that, for this year’s edition of the survey, it studied 1,600 companies with more than 1,000 U.S.-based employees, then assessed them based on four key areas: talent pipeline, equitable talent development, CEO/leadership commitment and supplier diversity. It first started ranking companies in 2001.