Many of Sydney’s Infrastructure Managers are looking for a new role. I’m asked daily by my customers about market conditions.
There’s a huge oversupply of candidates, salaries are 20% lower than what you’re currently earning and it may take you 6 – 12 months to land a role.
The intention of this article isn’t to scare you, I want to help you search with your eyes open. Here’s what happening in the market and some tips to reach the first interview.
What’s happening in the market?
An oversupply of candidates: There’s simply more qualified people looking for roles than there are good, open roles. I recently advertised a hybrid Infrastructure Project Manager / Infrastructure Manager role and received over 300 mostly relevant responses. I believe this oversupply is made up of:
- Many un-employed or under-employed candidates. At any given time there’s many recently made redundant candidates, recent arrivals from overseas or candidates returning to the workforce. On top of this many people who’ve recently found a new role have taken a step down in salary or responsibilities and are still active in the job market.
- Mobility of employed candidates. Most of my customers always have an ear to the market and a significant number of them are actively looking for a new role. “Jordan, do you know of any good Senior Infrastructure gigs?” is a question I hear very often.
Interstate candidates. Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide are also quiet at this end of the market forcing interstate candidates to look outside their local cities, creating further competition for Sydney roles.
Lower salaries: Because of this oversupply, open market roles are generally paying less than what you’re earning if you’re employed. I estimate that vacant roles are paying approximately 20% less than what employed people are earning.
- Raising of essential criteria: Due to the oversupply of candidates, companies that are hiring have the luxury of asking for more. Does this result in the best hire? Do you really need a current CCNP in a non-technical role?
- Job title bias: If the title of your most recent role doesn’t match the available role, many companies will not consider your application despite years of relevant experience.
- Bogey roles: There are some employers most of you want to avoid. Unfortunately, these companies hire in large numbers. Do you really want to work for a large Telco, large IT Service Provider or State Government? Is there scope to actually get something done in these roles? Do you want to deal with the mentality that comes with these employers? Is the role genuinely open or do they have someone in mind and are advertising as a matter of process?
How do I make it to the first interview?
The mindset of someone reviewing 300 similar and somewhat relevant resumes is that they need to arrive at a shortlist by rejecting 295 applications. You compete by giving the reviewer no reason to reject your application.
Here are some tips on reaching the first interview, you can take it from there.
- Your network: Do you know someone that works at the company that is hiring? Ask them to endorse you to HR or the Hiring Manager. This is an incredibly useful option if it’s available to you. I’ve seen the inside endorsement pay off many times, both early in the process to secure a first interview as well as late in the interview process when the company is struggling to separate candidates.
- Your resume:
- Highlight specific projects that are relevant to the role or in demand. The Job advert will tell you what’s relevant, here’s what’s in demand: Projects involving Public, Hybrid or Private Cloud (both AWS and Azure), introducing DevOps/Agile methodologies, projects involving ServiceNow, Citrix, Mobile Device Management and Security.
- Highlight your involvement within these projects. if you’ve acted as a Project Manager, mention it! It’s valued experience and gives you career options outside of operational leadership.
- Are you still hands on? Highlight a few aspects of your technical experience. Higher level architecture experience tends to be most valued whilst outlining your engineering experience demonstrates that you’re a hands-on manager.
- LinkedIn: Make sure your LinkedIn profile includes all of your relevant experience and no typos. Recruiters use LinkedIn extensively to find candidates and we also cross reference your LinkedIn profile when you apply for a role.
- Your supporting documentation: Your cover letter may or may not get read but make it relevant to the role, not a template filled with big words and clichés. This is crucially important if there’s a glaring reason to reject your application such as you haven’t worked for an extended period or your most recent role doesn’t read particularly relevant to the role you’re applying for. If you spell out your situation clearly you prevent the reviewer assuming the worst.
Do you feel like it might be time to move? Here’s what I urge you to consider:
- Are you prepared to interview for the next 6 -12 months?
- Is changing roles worth a 20% drop in salary to you?
- If you must find a new job, let me give you the advice I’ve given to each of my customers – don’t resign until you have a new role!