Job Seekers Researching Prospective Employers Online


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.