Recent newspaper reports have highlighted rising levels of unemployment among young people in the UK, now estimated to be up to a staggering one million youngsters aged 16 to 24. In addition, a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development has indicated that many businesses are now actively holding back on recruitment and adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude while they establish how the current economic situation unfolds. This all sounds fairly bleak for those who are currently out of work and looking to get back into full-time employment, and it also appears to stifle the aspirations of talented, currently employed individuals looking to move company to take on bigger and better roles.

So how do we move forward? Well, thinking specifically about the latter group of currently employed people who may aspire to move, there could be light at the end of the tunnel. A client of mine recently attended a week-long senior executive course at a major business school, and one of the topics of discussion among his seniorlevel peers was employment and talent acquisition. Each and every delegate raised a similar concern about the current growing numbers of candidates in the job market, regardless of sector. The major concern revolved around the difficulty in sorting the ordinary from the extraordinary candidate. With such a huge number of applications for any advertised role, there was a real fear that the majority of applicants would not be of the calibre they were looking for. Their collective solution was to reduce the number of publicly advertised vacancies in their businesses and to hold off from this recruitment approach for the medium term.

However, there was a strong level of backing for talented candidates to actively consider making speculative applications either through a networking route via an internal colleague, or indeed directly to the business in question. If a quality candidate appears on the doorstep, then this set of senior executives were all willing to move mountains to accommodate the individual within the current structure, with an eye to future organisational upgrades and evolution.

So where does that leave you? This anecdote is clearly based on a small sample, but it is easy to understand their sentiments and even easier to concur with their recommended route forward for talented candidates. So there you go: be bold, refresh your CV, identify your list of target companies and contacts, start working your network and apply speculatively. If you truly have the talent, isn’t it about time you let the right people know about it?