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Young workers: Be aware of the double-edged sword in job hunting

By Kace O'Neill | |6 minute read
Young Workers Be Aware Of The Double Edged Sword On The Job Hunt

Getting your foot in the door of an organisation as a young worker can be a gruelling process. Here are a few tips on how to navigate job hunts.

HR Leader recently spoke to Jas Singh, managing director at SKL, about how young workers can gain some momentum when it comes to the job hunt. Singh opened up about how the job market is neither in favour of employees nor employers, creating this striking balance with neither having the upper hand.

“It is not an employee’s market, but it’s not quite an employer’s market in all segments either. It’s leading to a balance, more of a continuation of the pre-COVID-19 world. A lot of the companies hired in a frenzy and in a state of panic that might have possibly resulted in some mis-hiring,” Singh said.


“A lot of the young employees coming through were thanked just simply for being around, which is nice, but that’s not how it has been and not how it will be.”

As the desperation for employees has dissipated, the criteria and skills that employers require from job hunters have somewhat increased. Standing out amid the competition is important. Singh explained some of the notable ways young workers can do that.

“It’s not a harder market [than] previous years, and the unemployment rate is still low. It’s just that employers aren’t scrambling just to get anybody through the door. A few things that you can do to stand out is show a degree of flexibility, especially as most companies are adopting a remote work structure,” Singh said.

“So, if you’re willing to go in the office certain days a week, have the flexibility to go to team events, show willingness to be alongside the team, as well as work remotely, I think that would help you stand out incredibly. Also, highlight where you’ve been upskilling yourself. Are you in touch with the latest developments in technology [and] remote working efficiencies? And don’t forget the basics of working with an employer.”

A factor that some young workers may oftentimes neglect when they are going through the job-hunting process is that of their own personality. Becoming fixated on their cover letter or CV can be an easy pitfall that a number of young workers fall into.

“Your core technical competency skill set is a starting point. That’s how you judge for an interview or how your CV looks. But after that, if two or three candidates have the same level of technical ability and one outshines on the personality, the personality would definitely win the day. But I think most employers are looking for a balance, and it’s important to highlight both sides to the employer.”

However, it is a double-edged sword. If young workers are fully banking on personality to carry them over the line, negating those fundamental skills, then they could quickly fall out of favour with their colleagues and employer.

“People with good personality who can’t deliver, their teammates, rather than being impressed with their personality, would probably, over time, get very annoyed with them. So, you can’t be a liability on the team because your personality is a strength that you bring to the team. You must also have the ability to deliver your share. That’s the key to a sustainable career,” he said.

The transcript of this podcast episode was slightly edited for publishing purposes. To listen to the full conversation with Jas Singh, click below:



The practice of actively seeking, locating, and employing people for a certain position or career in a corporation is known as recruitment.

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill is a Graduate Journalist for HR Leader. Kace studied Media Communications and Maori studies at the University of Otago, he has a passion for sports and storytelling.