If the job market were an independent business, I’m fairly certain its “compliant department” would be woefully overrun by now.  There are clearly many aspects of how the hiring process works today that aren’t sitting well with people on both sides of the fence — including both job candidates and employers alike.  In an attempt to inject a bit of spring-like optimism into the discussion, however, I posted a question last month asking people to step back and evaluate some of the POSITIVE developments that have taken place.

Here was the question I posed:

“What is the biggest silver lining about how the job market works today?”

The five response choices were:

1) More options to work remotely/from home
2) Higher turnover; easier to get ahead
3) Better access to company research/info
4) E-learning; easier to acquire new skills
5) Improved relationships via social media

A total of 42  people cast their vote on this particular topic, and while you’ll see a small graphic of the results below you can click here to access the full set of results.

The Analysis?
I can’t argue much with the results this time around!  While I believe all five of the choices provided DO represent a positive turn of events, in terms of how the market functions, I’d definitely agree that the “relationship improvement via social media” phenomenon is probably the biggest single change — and the one that will pay dividends to the greatest amount of people.  Just today, in fact, a person came to see me and said he was already dreading the process of having to go out and build a lot of new relationships out on the “event circuit” again since he’s lost touch with so many people.  When I asked him if he regularly used LinkedIn or other forms of social media, however, he said that he didn’t.  So I made his day when I told him that these tools, used properly, could probably resuscitate a huge number of the relationships he’d given up for dead!

As for the second leading vote-getter, the increased access the Internet now gives us to company research, I’m a big fan of this answer, too.  Having spent a healthy chunk of my early professional years in the library, typing out lists of companies for clients and Xeroxing countless pages out of corporate directories, I’m pretty tickled with the fact that you can pretty much push a button these days and access all of these same resources, for free.  And when you factor in the emerging new types of sites out there like Glassdoor and Jobitorial that offer a layer of subjective feedback on corporate cultures and hiring practices, the landscape looks even better!

So I think those two developments, alone, are something to cheer about.  As for the option of working remotely, I don’t know this for a fact, but it sure feels like the whole “telecommuting” craze actually peaked back in the dot-com years, when people were going bonkers over the idea of co-working and nobody having a permanent desk or workspace.  So this trend has either died down or just perhaps become so common we don’t talk about it much anymore.  Either way, I can see why that choice wasn’t a hot item in the survey.  And in terms of the one other poll option, while I think there are definitely more opportunities today for go-getters inside companies to get ahead, given the increased turnover/churn taking place, I can see why it would be hard for people to get too excited about this — since on one day you might be a churn-ee, and on the next day, you could easily be a churn-er.  So to speak.

As for the coming month?  You’ll find my latest LinkedIn poll question here, asking: “Aside from compensation, what is the single most important priority you’d place on choosing a job?”