If you're working in a research agency, struggling with a huge workload, and getting fed up with phoning head hunters or recruitment consultants …If you're seeking that elusive SRE or RM level candidate, only to be told that "there isn't anyone at the moment" — well, fret no longer. The days of the "candidate's market" are well and truly over, with the scales firmly coming down in favour of the potential employer.

The benefits to independents might be questionable, but for companies — for the first time in a number of years — it's currently a "buyer's market". There's a plethora of good, qualified candidates out there, ripe for the plucking. You might even have noticed that you're getting called by said recruitment consultants a lot more than usual these days about good candidates, or by candidates directly themselves. This is the direct result of redundancies and restructuring, as well as the usual wave of "new year, new job" hopefuls.

So potential employers, now that there are more candidates around, especially good, experienced quallies (once likened to "gold dust"!), can be much more demanding about who — within reason — they recruit. Arguably, excellent talent needs to be retained and won't be the first to go in a redundancy situation, but there is more talent available out there that can add to and help build your business than there has been for at least five years. So go on — make the most of it!

For potential employees, meanwhile, yes, there are still jobs out there, but also a lot more competition. You will need to be prepared to really up your game to ensure that both you and your CV stand out from the crowd.

Make sure your CV is as strong an ambassador for your "brand" as possible, as this is an initial introduction to a client. And even though a head hunter can talk you up a storm, the client will still be left with this as a tangible pen portrait of you and your experience to date. Even though career progression is, of course, paramount and should remain so, you'll also need to be prepared to be flexible around location, salary and opportunity, within reason of course.