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CareerBuilder Study Reveals Disconnect Between Job Seekers and Recruiters
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
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What can be a deal breaker for landing that new job or finding the right candidate for your organization? A new study from CareerBuilder answers this question and provides unique insights for both job candidates and the employers who want to hire them. 

 “There can sometimes be a disconnect between what employers and job seekers expect in the hiring process,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Our study evaluates how different perceptions and behaviors have evolved among these two groups, and what can help or hinder the recruitment and job search experience.” 

Lessons for job seekers 

Make sure your online persona is free of digital dirt. Some of the search activity happens before candidates are even called for a job interview. And a significant number of employers will use the Internet to discover additional information about a specific job candidate. Survey respondents report:

  • 48 percent of employers will use Google or other search engines to research candidates
  • 44 percent will research the candidate on Facebook.
  • 27 percent will monitor the candidate’s activity on Twitter
  • 23 percent will review the candidate’s posts or comments on Yelp.com, Glassdoor.com, or other rating sites. 

Be ready to speak with the top brass. Prepare for every job interview as if you’ll be speaking with the CEO or other senior leader, because that may very well be the reality for some workers. Thirty-eight percent of employers say that job candidates are required to interview with a C-level executive within their organization, such as the CEO, CFO, COO, CLO, and so forth. 

Know your audience. While a lack of skills is the primary reason why many employers will dismiss a job candidate from consideration, other factors often come into play that can knock a candidate out of the running. 

Candidates should seek out those companies that are aligned with their own work values. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of employers will dismiss a candidate who is not a good fit for their company culture. In addition, 18 percent will eliminate candidates whose salary expectations are too high. 

Proper etiquette is required. Not only do you need to make a good impression during the interview, you need to reinforce it afterwards. According to the respondents, 58 percent of employers still believe it’s important to send a thank you after an interview; 24 percent said it’s very important. 

Lessons for recruiters 

If you’re not mobile, you’re not truly accessible. Nearly two in five employers (39 percent) report that they have jobs that stay open four months or longer due to the inability to find people with appropriate skills. Mobile job search is growing at an accelerated rate, and employers who aren’t mobile-optimized are missing out on key talent they need to find quickly. 

At least half of job seekers with mobile devices spend three hours or more looking for jobs via those devices every week (49 percent on smart phones and 59 percent on tablets). Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of workers who search for jobs via mobile devices will leave a website if it is not mobile-optimized, and 40 percent walk away with a more negative opinion of the company. 

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Reputation can carry more weight than money. When job seekers were asked if they would consider a salary that is five percent less than their lowest acceptable salary, a significant number said they would depending on the company’s image and applicant experience. 

In fact, 68 percent said they would accept a lower salary if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process. The challenge here is that nearly one-third (29 percent) of job seekers don’t think employers do a good job of reinforcing why their companies are a good place to work. 

Job seekers also say they would accept a lower salary if the company had exceptionally positive reviews online (67 percent) or if the company had a lot of positive press recently (65 percent). 

Job seekers say an employment brand is a must-have. While “employment brand” is not a new concept, it is alarming that only 38 percent of employers in the survey believe their company has a very clearly defined employment brand. This can adversely affect job seeker perceptions and ultimately application rates. 

Nearly one-half (46 percent) of workers feel a company’s employment brand plays a very big role in their decision to apply for a job within the organization; another 45 percent say it plays somewhat of a role. 

Unresponsiveness can have a ripple effect. A June 2013 CareerBuilder study of more than 2,200 hiring managers revealed 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 a rather large number of employers are at risk. Some 62 percent of job seekers don’t feel the companies they have applied to have been responsive. 

On the flip side, 56 percent of employers admit that they don’t respond to all candidates or acknowledge receipt of their applications; 33 percent say they don’t follow up with candidates they interviewed with to let them know they didn’t get the job. 

Flexibility is the new norm. Job seekers are placing a heavier emphasis on a company’s ability to provide a good work/life balance when they are considering a job offer. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of workers say it’s important that a company offers flexible schedules when they are deciding whether to take a position. Likewise, 44 percent report it’s important that the company provide telecommuting options. 

The survey, which included 5,518 job seekers and 2,775 hiring managers, was conducted online within the United States and Canada by Inavero on behalf of CareerBuilder and completed in July 2013. CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 50 million resumes. 

For more insights from the study, visit www.careerbuildercommunications.com/candidatebehavior.

 

About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at rellis@td.org. 

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