We may never have the technology that enables us to truly read job seekers’ minds (if only Steve Jobs would channel some of his energy into recruitment and human resources, right?), but darn it if we don’t keep trying…The latest attempt comes courtesy of job aggregator SimplyHired, which recently released a survey profiling today’s job seeker – where they go to look for jobs, what they look for in employers, and what they’re willing to negotiate.
As expected, the findings are consistent with previous CareerBuilder studies (like this one here) and so, by that same token, include some interesting and useful takeaways for employers. I’ve included my top 10 below…
Top 10 Takeaways of the Latest Job Seeker Report
- The “beggars can’t be choosers” attitude has to go: Despite the perception that it’s a buyers market for employers right now, but there are still some things job seekers aren’t willing to settle on: nearly half of job seekers (46 percent) are unwilling to settle when it comes to healthcare, and 24 percent said the same of salary. Other all-or-nothing items included commute, 401(k)/retirement options, and vacation time.
- The Internet rules when it comes to searching for jobs: A remarkable 86 percent of job seekers search for jobs online, with job boards leading the way as the main go-to source for job listings, followed closely by company career sites. Networking, staffing agencies and recruiters rounded out the top five. Interestingly enough, however, when it came to finding a job, job boards came second to networking, a finding that is consistent with other surveys that indicate that employee referrals are among the most effective recruitment resources.
- Don’t put all your eggs in the social media basket: For all of its hype (albeit well-deserved hype), social media still isn’t on the radar for over a third of job seekers (36 percent). So while it’s certainly advantageous for employers to utilize sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (the top three social networking sites job seekers look for jobs), social media should only serve as part of their overall recruitment mix. Otherwise, as these results indicate, using social media alone prevents companies from reaching a significant portion of potential candidates.
- Job seekers want love more than they want money. Want good employees? You better have a good offer on the table – and that doesn’t just mean salary. An astounding 83 percent of job seekers would rather have a job they love than a job that pays well, according to the survey. When asked what would make a job a job they “love,” 37 percent of job seekers said the work itself. The people came in as the second most popular workplace motivator, with pay coming in third. The lesson? Sell the job, sell the opportunity, and sell your culture first. Then talk pay.
- Green looks good on you. Over half of job seekers (52 percent) stated that they prefer to work for green companies. And if ‘green company’ gives you visions of solar-powered computers and cubicles fashioned out of moss, it’s actually much simpler than you think: Recycling is the most popular eco-friendly initiatives employees look for in potential employers. Reducing energy use and using less paper tied for the second spot, followed by purchasing green products and carpooling/rideshare options.
- Choosy moms choose flextime: Of the working mothers who participated in the survey, 43 percent named flextime schedules as the most important working mother program, making it the most desired benefit for working mothers. Child care services and telecommuting tied as the second most preferred benefit, followed by parental leave (for things like child sick days), compressed workweeks and job-sharing.
- Opportunity knocks out the competition for new grads: For 40 percent of new graduates, the most important thing to them in their first job is opportunities to learn and develop their career. Salary and benefits is most important for 25 percent of new grads, and work/life balance is tops for 17 percent. Rounding out the top seven ‘must-haves’ were finding a great mentor, testing possible career paths, challenging work, and growing a professional network.
- Older workers are in the last place you’d expect to find them: If you’re targeting older workers, one place to advertise your jobs might be on Facebook. The number of workers 55 and older on Facebook has increased 922 percent since 2009, according to iStrategyLabs.
- Healthcare is a must-have. Forty-six percent of job seekers say they won’t compromise when it comes to healthcare/insurance. Salary was the second most popular non-negotiable, followed by commute/transportation, 401(k)/retirement options, vacation time and stock options.
- Most job seekers will go where the jobs are, maybe. While 22 percent of job seekers are willing to relocate for a job, nearly the same amount (19 percent) would refuse the job. The rest, however, say it depends on one of three factors: the offer (for 37 percent of job seekers), the location (18 percent) or the company (4 percent).
Do any of these findings surprise you? What fascinates of confuses you most about job seekers today?
For more information, download the complete report here.