As the economy improves job seekers can afford to be more choosey with potential employers. A candidate behaviour study by US job website CareerBuilder of more than 5000 job seekers and 2500 hiring managers has provided insights into what applicants are looking for when it comes to employment.
“There can sometimes be a disconnect between what employers and job seekers expect in the hiring process,” said Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder Human Resources vice president. “Our study evaluates how different perceptions and behaviours have evolved among these two groups, and what can help or hinder the recruitment and job search experience.”
Here are the five lessons recruiters can take away from the findings:
You need to be mobile or else you're not truly accessible: Nearly two in five employers (39%) have job vacancies that stay open four months or longer due to the inability to find people with appropriate skills. As mobile job searching grows at an accelerated rate, and employers who aren’t mobile-optimised miss out on key talent they need to find quickly. Results from the survey show that at least half of job seekers with mobile devices spend three hours or more looking for jobs via those devices every week with 49% doing so via smartphones and 59% on tablets. Of the workers who search for jobs via mobile devices 65% will leave a web site if it is not mobile-optimised, while 40% walk away with a more negative opinion of the company.
Reputation can be more important than money: Job seekers were asked if they would consider a salary five per cent less than their lowest acceptable remuneration, and a significant number said they would but it would depend on the company’s image and applicant experience. If an employer created a great impression during the hiring process 68% said they would consider a lower salary, however 29% of job seekers didn't think employers did a good job of reinforcing why their companies were a good place to work. Those seeking employment also said they would accept a lower salary if the company had exceptionally positive reviews online (67%) or if the company had a lot of positive press recently (65%).
Employment brand is a must-have: The failure to have a clearly defined employment could prove costly as it could adversely impact the perceptions of job seekers and ultimately application rates. Nearly half (46%) of workers surveyed said a company’s employment brand plays a very big role in their decision to apply for a job within the organisation, while another 45% say it plays somewhat of a role.
Unresponsiveness can have a ripple effect: An earlier CareerBuilder study showed that job seekers who don’t hear back after applying to an employer are more likely to stop buying products or services from the company. And that could mean alienating quite a portion of the market place as 62% of job seekers don’t feel the companies they have applied to have been responsive. While 56% of employers admitted that they don’t respond to all candidates or acknowledge receipt of their applications, and 33% follow up with candidates they interviewed to let them know they didn’t get the job.
Flexibility is the new norm. More emphasis is being placed on a company’s ability to provide a good work/life balance by job seekers when they are considering a job offer. Of those surveyed 72% of workers said it’s important that a company offers flexible schedules when they are deciding whether to take a position and 44% said telecommuting options were important.