Candidate Pools & Proactive Recruiting, Corporate Culture, Recruiting News

What Do Jobseekers Want? Culture Is Out, Transparency Is in

In a competitive market, companies must work twice as hard to entice new hires to accept a job offer and because of this, the relationship between recruiters and candidates has never been more important.


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According to the Jobvite report: 2018 Job Seeker Nation Study, employers and hiring managers must reevaluate what makes a “qualified” candidate, indeed “qualified,” and take into account the fact that the recruiting landscape has changed from a linear experience to something that encompasses a continuous cycle of engagement. Employers and jobseekers alike must adapt to this model in order to successfully navigate the new world of recruiting.

Over the last 3 years, Jobvite has found that the percentage of employees claiming to change jobs every 1 to 5 years is on the rise, with 51% of respondents in 2018 saying they were looking for a new job vs. 42% in 2017, and 34% in 2016. Furthermore, almost 30% of jobseekers have left a job within the first 90 days of starting. What’s the driving force behind the change?

What’s Causing Workers to Leave?

When it comes to taking or leaving a job, jobseekers today prioritize compensation as the number one factor for leaving a job in the last year, according to 19% of respondents. Men (21%) are more likely than women (17%) to leave a position for higher pay. And when it comes to age and experience, 13% of younger respondents claim they’ve left a job because the role lacked the opportunity to grow—and as we know, the more you grow within a company, the more you’re supposed to earn over time.

While many companies have been putting culture on the forefront of their recruiting strategies, it may make or break their chances at recruiting top talent. Jobvite finds that the vast majority (88%) of jobseekers cite culture as at least of relative importance in applying to a company—and 46% claim it’s very important.  Additionally, 15% of jobseekers have turned down an offer because of a company’s culture, and 32% say the culture is the reason why they’ve left the company within 90 days of getting hired.

Furthermore, nearly a third of respondents say they would be willing to take a 10% pay cut for a job they’re more interested in or passionate about, which goes to show that a great company culture may not be all that it’s cracked up to be if the role isn’t a good fit for the candidate. This point is highlighted by 43% of respondents who claim that they left a company within the first 90 days because their day-to-day role wasn’t what they expected.

While it may come as a surprise that company culture can drive candidates away, what isn’t a surprise is the fact that more candidates are looking for a company that is truly transparent. In the age of social media and review websites, like Glassdoor and Yelp, candidates are doing more research about the companies they are applying to, before an interview is even scheduled.

Accordingly, 59% of jobseekers head straight to the company website when researching a company, while 46% talk to personal connections, and 34% claim to stalk the company through social media channels.

Even worse news, 22% of jobseekers who have read or heard bad things about a company have preemptively rejected that employer before seeking out a position. Younger jobseekers (31%) are more inclined to trust the reviews left on Glassdoor and other review sites vs. 14% of older workers.

What’s Keeping Workers Around?

Understanding jobseekers means knowing what they need in order to become successful employees. For recruiters, building a relationship starts there, and knowing what causes workers to leave doesn’t hurt either.

Having robust benefits is also a surefire way to attract and retain workers and according to Jobvite, jobseekers expect the following benefits from employers:

  • Health care (73%)
  • 401(k) plans (56%)
  • Company matching on 401(k) plans (43%)
  • Bonuses and stipends (41%)
  • Casual dress code (36%)
  • Parental leave (22%)
  • Education subsidy (19%)
  • Remote work options (16%)

We’ve highlighted the fact that compensation is a key factor in employees looking for new jobs, but Jobvite finds that when jobseekers are able to negotiate their salaries, they’re often successful in receiving higher pay … so long as the jobseeker is comfortable asking. Jobvite finds that 46% of jobseekers are uncomfortable negotiating salaries, compared to 51% who are comfortable.

Additionally, Jobvite finds that both male and female jobseekers who negotiated their salaries were equally successful in negotiating—meaning 85% of male respondents and 86% of female respondents were successful in obtaining a higher salary when negotiating their starting pay. However, only 25% of female jobseekers negotiated their salaries—compared to 35% of men.

While negotiations are proving to be fruitful for the jobseekers who try them, compensation remains a constant issue for employers and workers, alike. In fact, Jobvite finds that 59% of jobseekers have pursued a side gig, on top of their current jobs, because they need the extra income. And while many employers are struggling to retain their current workers, current workers are looking to work for more than just one employer.

But What About the Gig Economy?

According to Jobvite, 31% of jobseekers report having more than one source of income outside of their regular 9–5 jobs. In fact, 43% of respondents say they work freelance gigs in order to make ends meet, especially 50% of men, compared to just 36% of women. And with the rise in ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, 9% of jobseekers have resorted to these types of jobs to help fill the void.

It’s not just jobseekers who have turned to freelance work; employers have also turned to the gig economy to help fill vacant positions. A recent Clutch survey found that companies are most likely to hire contract or freelance workers for short-term projects that require technical or specialized knowledge.  According to Clutch, 29% of respondents hire temporary workers who offer technical skills, including experience with analytics, IT, and data science, as well as Web, mobile, or software development.

Companies also hire temporary workers for marketing and creative projects (14%), administrative tasks (12%), customer service (10%), and accounting (10%). If you have an open position that you can’t seem to find the right fit for, try recruiting a gig worker, especially when it comes to short-term projects.

The world of work is changing and in order to keep up, recruiters and hiring managers must understand what jobseekers want. If your company has the ability to offer a competitive salary and great benefits, you’re headed in the right direction, but be mindful that having a good, transparent culture is also going to play a key part in attracting and retaining talent.