With a little research and planning, there are steps you can take to better market yourself and land a new job.

Employers report a lack of skilled talent as one of the biggest threats to meeting business objectives in 2016. Job seekers who take note of what skills and characteristics companies are seeking could have a competitive advantage.

“With companies reporting job vacancies that are threatening productivity levels, candidates have a tremendous opportunity to land their dream job,” said Jim Link, chief human resources officer, Randstad North America, one of the largest HR services and staffing companies in the U.S.

The 2016 Workplace Trends Guide by Randstad US reveals how employees can better position themselves for success during their job search. Whether you’re an active or passive job seeker today, here are the top five considerations:

1. Use staffing/recruiting firms to maximize your chances.

Taking advantage of staffing firms can help job seekers gain access to a wide range of opportunities at no cost. Working through a staffing or recruitment firm is often one of the best entry points for some of the country’s most desirable employers.

2. Market skills based on desired assets.

As companies move beyond recession recovery and enter growth mode, their ability to hire great talent is arguably the most important driver for success and profitability. Do the necessary research to understand the skills and expertise companies in your industry are looking for and take every step to market yourself with those desired job requirements in mind.

3. Use multiple sources to find available positions.

On average, the companies surveyed report they are currently understaffed by 10 percent with an average of 137 open jobs. Hiring decision-makers report using a wider range of recruitment methods, which include social media, digital networking, as well as working with local universities and colleges.

4. Don’t rule out the importance of work ethic and soft skills.

Decision-makers cite work ethic (36 percent) and soft skills (33 percent) as two of the top areas candidates are lacking. Don’t leave any question in the hiring manager’s mind about your willingness to work hard. During interviews, make eye contact, communicate effectively and demonstrate your ability to adapt to any work environment.

5. Don’t rule out contract work.

On-demand talent is needed. More workers are choosing contingent or temporary work as the economy embraces an “on-demand” workforce. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 40 percent of the U.S. workforce will be contingent by the year 2020. Sixty-eight percent of companies surveyed believe a variable workforce model with a mix of temporary and permanent employees allow for more agility to meet customer demands. This can mean increased benefits for job-seekers, including broader job opportunities, flexible work schedules and greater income potential.

By doing your research, taking advantage of opportunities, and utilizing social media connections, you can improve your chances for a successful job search.