Job Seekers Researching Prospective Employers Online

by | 4 minute read

Now that the job mar­ket is get­ting busier, can­di­dates are check­ing out prospec­tive employ­ers. Accord­ing to Man­pow­er­Group, the job search is all dig­i­tal as can­di­dates look at web­sites, career sites and social media. Employ­ers should be opti­miz­ing their online pres­ence to appear more attrac­tive but remem­ber to offer per­son­al inter­views to those can­di­dates who inter­est them the most.

Under­stand­ing job seek­ers' pref­er­ences and pro­files is the first step to attract­ing top tal­ent, con­cludes the 2014 Can­di­date Pref­er­ences Sur­vey from Man­pow­er­Group Solu­tions Recruit­ment Process Out­sourc­ing (RPO), an offer­ing of Man­pow­er­Group.

More than 200 active and pas­sive U.S. job seek­ers rep­re­sent­ing a cross sec­tion of ages, incomes, career lev­els and indus­tries, were asked about their use of and pref­er­ences for tech­nol­o­gy, social media and online plat­forms when research­ing and inter­view­ing for jobs. Study results show that the nature and fre­quen­cy of employer-candidate inter­ac­tions should be dri­ven by the type of tal­ent employ­ers wish to attract.

Candidate-focused online con­tent and cus­tomized expe­ri­ences attract the right tal­ent

In the first of the five-paper series based on the sur­vey, Man­pow­er­Group Solu­tions RPO rec­om­mends employ­ers pro­vide candidate-focused online con­tent to cre­ate a cus­tomized and candidate-friendly expe­ri­ence in order to attract and engage the right tal­ent. Employ­ers must under­stand that while tech­nol­o­gy and social media can rein­force their brand and enhance their reach, tech­nol­o­gy can­not replace the impact of human inter­ac­tions.

Jim McCoy, vice pres­i­dent Man­pow­er­Group Solu­tions and North Amer­i­ca RPO prac­tice lead added the fol­low­ing obser­va­tions:

"Even as tech­nol­o­gy — and the aware­ness of new tools — con­tin­ues to rapid­ly advance, the tried, but true meth­ods of in-person and phone inter­views, and more fre­quent, per­son­al­ized inter­ac­tions with hir­ing man­agers or recruiters remain the clear pref­er­ence of job seek­ers across gen­er­a­tions. Orga­ni­za­tions should eval­u­ate their tal­ent acqui­si­tion strat­e­gy and cus­tomize job seek­ers' expe­ri­ences based on their pref­er­ences.

"The impact that high-touch — or human con­tact — has on a candidate's recruit­ing expe­ri­ence can­not be over­stat­ed. A neg­a­tive expe­ri­ence with a hir­ing man­ag­er or a recruiter may result in the right can­di­date reject­ing a job offer.

"The con­tent and func­tion­al­i­ty of employ­ers' web­sites and career sites mat­ter. Since nine in 10 can­di­dates use them as pri­ma­ry sources of infor­ma­tion about employ­ers, mak­ing them rel­e­vant, com­pelling and user-friendly should be a pri­or­i­ty of employ­ers.

"By max­i­miz­ing their pres­ence on, and engage­ment with, care­ful­ly select­ed social media, employ­ers can attract and engage the right can­di­dates faster and more effi­cient­ly."

Key Can­di­date Pref­er­ences Sur­vey find­ings

Fol­low­ing are some of the key find­ings about can­di­date pref­er­ences:

  • 86% explore employ­ers' web­sites when research­ing posi­tions online
  • 36% report employ­ers' web­sites and career sites lack clear and rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion
  • 52% use search engine results, and 45% use peer rec­om­men­da­tions to gath­er infor­ma­tion about prospec­tive employ­ers and posi­tions
  • Indeed, Career­Builder and Mon­ster top the list of most fre­quent­ly used online job sites
  • 30% use social media to get more infor­ma­tion about open posi­tions or employ­ers; of these, more than 70% use Face­book, 43% each use Google+ or LinkedIn
  • 72% pre­fer tra­di­tion­al, in-person inter­views; 16% choose tele­phone inter­views

One-size-fits-all approach to engag­ing prospec­tive employ­ees doesn't work

As the tal­ent short­age con­tin­ues, human resources lead­ers are chal­lenged to ensure sus­tain­able tal­ent pipelines for their orga­ni­za­tions. A one-size-fits-all approach to engag­ing prospec­tive employ­ees does not work. Employ­ers must eval­u­ate their tal­ent acqui­si­tion strat­e­gy and cus­tomize job seek­ers' expe­ri­ences based on the tal­ent they want to hire. Only when employ­ers con­sid­er the total val­ue of candidate-centered expe­ri­ences, will they be able to effi­cient­ly and effec­tive­ly attract and acquire top tal­ent to achieve their busi­ness objec­tives.

Audi­enceS­CAN data indi­cates that 22% of U.S. adults would like to get a new job some­time in the next year. Over 50% of this audi­ence is under age 35 and these con­sumers are more like­ly than aver­age to be mobile — near­ly half live are renters instead of home­own­ers. These con­sumers also over-index in their intent to buy a used car/truck and sign up for high-speed Inter­net access at home. Per­son­al spend­ing plans include get­ting a tat­too for 18% of these audi­ence mem­bers and about the same num­ber expect to pay for a mas­sage in the next year. Employ­ers seek­ing to reach these poten­tial job can­di­dates should focus on social net­work post­ings and online adver­tis­ing. Over 30% of these con­sumers have start­ed an online search in the past year as a result of this type of adver­tis­ing.

Audi­enceS­CAN data is avail­able as part of a sub­scrip­tion to AdMall for Agen­cies. Media com­pa­nies can access Audi­enceS­CAN data through the Audi­ence Intel­li­gence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice Pres­i­dent of Research for Sales­Fu­el. She holds a Mas­ters in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ver­mont and over­sees a staff of researchers, writ­ers and con­tent providers for Sales­Fu­el. Pre­vi­ous­ly, she was co-owner of sev­er­al small busi­ness­es in the health care ser­vices sec­tor.