Hiring? Here’s What Job Seekers Really Want

A recent CareerBuilder survey of 5,013 employees found that 75% were either actively looking for or open to new opportunities. That’s a big potential candidate pool out there.

If you’re currently hiring or thinking of hiring, here’s what you can do to attract the best job candidates.

Job seekers are following the money

CareerBuilder’s survey found the number one reason people look for a new job is “higher base salary.SAP’s survey of 2,872 employees found the number one factor that employees value at work is “competitive compensation.LinkedIn’s survey of 7,530 members who recently changed jobs found the number one reason that would convince them to change jobs is “better compensation and benefits.” So despite the “do what you love, follow your passion” rhetoric, job seekers’ main motivation is still money.

Also interesting to note is that contrary to popular belief, quitting due to issues with management is relatively low on the list. And the common recommendation to hire from referrals only accounts for 2% of why employees look for a new job.

why job seekers are looking for a new job

The takeaways: Your job offer might come with great work/life balance or an amazing company culture, but if it doesn’t also pay a competitive salary, you’re going to have a hard time attracting and retaining the best talent. And if you’re relying on referrals as your hiring source, be prepared to wait a long time before it pays off.

Job seekers are willing to sacrifice (a bit of) salary

Like the saying goes, money isn’t everything. CareerBuilder asked job seekers what would make them more likely to accept a job offer with a salary 5% lower than they wanted. Most job seekers said they would accept a slightly lower salary at a company that “has a strong reputation for being a great employer“. But a large majority – 77% – also said that they’d be willing to forego a bit of money if the employer “created a great impression through the hiring process“. what job seekers are willing to settle a lower salary forThe takeaways: As a hiring manager, you might not be able to control the press your company receives or the reputation your company has, but you can directly control how good the candidate experience of your hiring process is. Use this knowledge and your power wisely to create a fair, transparent, and respectful hiring process.

Job seekers are influenced by candidate experience

So how do you ensure your hiring process is fair, transparent, and respectful? Let’s let the job seekers tell us.

Job seekers have a negative impression of a company if they:

  • didn’t hear back from the company after submitting an application
  • didn’t hear back from the company after an interview
  • received an offer that was nowhere near their lowest acceptable terms

Job seekers have a positive impression of a company if they:

  • received consistent updates throughout the application process
  • were always treated with respect through the application process

what makes a positive candidate experience

The takeaways: When it comes to candidate experience, it’s not just about having an active social presence or a beautiful recruitment video. Make sure you’re getting the basics right too when it comes to communication and respect. Even a simple acknowledgment that you’ve received a candidate’s application can make a big difference. For more tips on creating a positive candidate experience, see SIOP’s white paper on best practices.

The bottom line

If you want to hire to best talent, you need to give them what they want. So let job seekers tell you what they’re looking for and cater your hiring strategy to best meet their needs.

What are you doing to ensure your hiring process meets job seekers’ needs? Let me know in the comments or tweet @recruit_smarter.

Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices in data-based recruitment. She writes about research and trends in talent acquisition, recruitment tech, and people analytics.
Ji-A Min