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New Study Highlights the Importance of Knowing Your Audience When It Comes to Recruiting

A new research study from CareerBuilder finds that money rules when it comes to appealing to the average job seeker.  Overall, compensation topped the list of things that matter to employees the most, followed by benefits, advancement opportunities, work/life balance and appreciation from management.

Yet, when broken down by various elements, the results show that there’s hardly such a thing as the ‘average’ when it comes to what job seekers want. The way job seekers evaluate prospective employers and opportunities vary according to several factors – including job seeker education level, industry, gender, age and ethnicity. Take a look at some of the findings from CareerBuilder’s survey:

  • Job seekers with a master’s degree are more likely look at whether a company offers a good work/life balance and interesting assignments before they look at compensation.
  • The more education you have, the less important opportunities for advancement becomes in job selection. For example, only 12.6 percent of job seekers with master’s degree t rate advancement opportunities as number one on their ‘most wanted’ list, compared with 23.2 percent of those with a high school diploma.
  • IT professions are more likely to focus on Advancement, but not Engineers.  Instead, Engineers are 50 percent more drawn to Interesting Assignments than IT professionals (20 percent versus 6.3 percent overall).
  • Nurses are 31 percent more likely to prioritize high pay and work-life balance than professionals in other fields.
  • Compensation is more important to Baby Boomers (workers born between 1946 and 1964) than it is to Millennials (workers born between 1981 to 2000) by almost 5 percent. Millennials, however, are 47 percent more likely to value advancement opportunities than Baby Boomers.

If these results tell us anything, it’s the importance of understanding your audience when trying to recruit a certain segment of the workforce. If, for example, you’re trying to pull in applicants with master’s degrees, advertising that your company offers a good work/life balance and that the job will include interesting assignments will help your value proposition. The same ‘benefits’ may not be as compelling, however, to another segment of the workforce, such as IT professionals, who favor advancement opportunities.

Of course these results are just a snapshot of the available research out there on job seeker behavior, attitudes and perceptions.  The more research you do on the talent you hope to recruit, however, the smarter you’ll be about where to allocate your recruitment advertising dollars, and the more time and money you’ll save in the long run.

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
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