“Employers are at an advantage in our current economy.”
“Candidates will take any offer you make because they need a job.”
“It’s an employer’s market — candidates can’t expect to make what they used to.”
Heard any of these statements lately? Think they’re true yourself and are abiding by this philosophy — or know a company that is? Well, companies with this mentality may be in for a rude awakening, as the idea that all unemployed workers in our current market will “take anything” just to get a paycheck is a misconception. Evidence of this is shown in the survey just released by Personified, CareerBuilder’s talent consulting arm, among 925 unemployed U.S. workers. The overwhelming majority of unemployed workers surveyed who have received a job offer since unemployment have rejected the offer because the offer was too low. In fact, 17 percent of unemployed workers surveyed have received at least one job offer since they’ve become unemployed, and of those people, a whopping 92 percent rejected the offer. More than half (54 percent) reported that they did so because the offer was more than 25 percent lower than the salary they had earned in their most recent position.
Many unemployed workers are looking for the right job
Although many unemployed workers are eager to start earning a paycheck, not all of them are willing to jump at the first thing they can get. And really, as an employer, would you want them to? I mean, sure, you may need to hire people quickly, but you still need to find quality employees who truly want to work for your company and are going to stick around. Otherwise, you’re just getting warm bodies who are going to walk right back out that door once they find something better (or with better pay, or prestige, or opportunities, or — well, see below).
Job offers not paying off for other reasons, too
While insufficient pay was the number one reason unemployed workers turned down a job opportunity, workers had other things to say about the jobs they were being offered — and the companies offering them.
Other factors cited include:
- A long commute
- A lower title
- The position was outside of their field
- Little room for career advancement
- A poor hiring process.
“Rather than jumping on the first job offer that comes their way, workers are assessing which opportunities really make the most sense for them in terms of compensation and long-term potential,” said Mary Delaney, President of Personified.
While the above factors are not always in a company’s hands, there are certainly things employers can do to improve the hiring experience for candidates and enrich the opportunities of the job position in question. And while it may be true that a job is better than no job, and desperate times call for desperate measures, and (insert cliché phrase here), many unemployed workers are looking for not just a job, but a job that suits their lifestyle and long-term goals — and they’re willing to wait a bit to find it. And didn’t our parents always tell us, the best things come to those who wait?
How often are the hunters hunting?
Speaking of waiting, some unemployed workers aren’t spending much time looking for jobs; 18 percent reported they spend five hours or less per week searching for a job. While it’s true that some of those workers may also have inflated expectations of what’s out there in terms of jobs, thinking they can get the job of their dreams without much or any effort, this appears to be the exception rather than the rule.
Many are treating job searching like the full-time job it often is: Thirty percent of those surveyed allocate more than 20 hours a week, and 62 percent apply to an average of more than ten jobs per week. The amount of time unemployed workers are spending searching for jobs also trended by education and pay levels; see full details in the press release here.
If you mean it, they will come
Candidates and employees, whether in an up or a down economy, deserve to be treated with respect — and even in a down economy, they still need to know you fit into their goals and have their future in mind. If you’ve tried working the numbers every which way, made sure your compensation strategy is solid, and just can’t pay more than you’re offering, you’ve at least made the effort — and that’s when you can focus on making your company offerings shine in other ways. Start with your employees — the things they love about their job are likely the same things a potential employee will love about it, too. It’s not always about the money — and a candidate may really want to work for you because of the great career advancement you offer or your awesome company culture or your stellar reputation. Everyone is different, and that translates to different motivations. Our own readers on The Hiring Site shared the factors — both abstract and tangible — that make their company special and sell their ideal candidates on the job.
It’s the companies with the “candidates will take whatever they can get” mentality, the ones who take advantage of the situation unemployed workers are in by grossly undercutting what workers are worth, who need to adjust their way of thinking. Otherwise, they’re going to be left with a lot of empty seats where employees briefly sat before moving on to that job they really wanted.
Thoughts? Completely disagree or see it from another angle?