5 Stats That Show Candidates Are Better Researchers Than Ever
The average job candidate today is a more sophisticated researcher than recruiters might realize. And it’s not just new technologies that have enhanced job research skills, but also the width and breadth of information about jobs that is available to candidates. Job seekers can access salary data, office floor plans, and employee reviews alongside the traditional details of an open job.
Plus, many candidates are constantly online, always connected to professional networks and job search portals (read: Google) where they can browse new opportunities no matter their location. This unprecedented access to people and information has made candidates more advanced in the job search process than ever before.
To capture the always-looking, always-connected candidate, recruiters should position themselves in the places where these job seekers search. Which is to say, almost everywhere. Candidates may not apply to every job through every channel, but we do have an idea of which channels they use the most, and how. These stats on candidates’ research process will help recruiters get in front of their increasingly sophisticated targets.
1. 76% of candidates search for jobs through their own research and due diligence
Most job seekers today have at least some idea of what they want from a new job, and are proactive when it comes to finding the right employer. According to the Talent Board’s 2015 North American Candidate Experience Research Report, about three quarters of candidates conduct their own research when searching for a new job.
And while a clear majority (64%) say company career websites are the most valuable research channels, more job seekers are relying on job alerts (34%) and LinkedIn career pages (29%). Plus, growth in the use of review websites like Glassdoor has increased since last year from 19% to 24%. And a separate study from CareerBuilder backs up these findings, as they found only 36% of candidates apply to jobs without conducting any research.
2. 38% of candidates spend 1-2 hours researching a new opportunity
An additional 18% spend 2-4 hours, while 16% of respondents to the Talent Board’s survey spend over five hours researching a job. It’s common to spend time researching a new restaurant or a new pair of shoes, but most of us don’t spend an hour or more on those tasks. Job searching on the other hand is important enough that many candidates will spend over an hour researching the opening and the employer.
3. 76% of full-time employed workers are actively looking for or at least open to new opportunities
This figure comes from CareerBuilder’s candidate behavior research, and it further overturns the traditional binary of active and passive job seekers. Those labels aren’t so useful to recruiters today, as many job seekers may not consider themselves to be actively looking, but they sign up for job alerts. Or they browse openings on LinkedIn during their lunch break. At the very least, the majority of workers are open to the idea of a new job.
4. Job seekers use an average 16 resources in their job search
Can you name all 16? Career websites, professional social networks, job boards, referrals from friends and family… That’s just the beginning. But the variety of research channels candidates use really shouldn’t surprise recruiters. In the CareerBuilder survey, hiring managers and recruiters reported using an average of 15 different resources themselves when searching for the best candidate.
5. 74% of candidates want to find salary information when researching a job opening
CareerBuilder asked job seekers what kind of information they’re looking for when they conduct research on a new job. Salary data was a common answer, and it reflects not just the standard interest in how much they might get paid, but also increasing openness among candidates about how much they and their peers make.
In addition, 82% said finding some information about the job’s team structure and how it fits into the larger organization is important. Plus 65% of respondents admit they spend more time researching the location of the company than anything else. So how they’d fit into the company, and where that company fits into the larger environment, make up major parts of the candidate’s research process.
Can Recruiters Impact the Research Process?
Candidates are increasingly independent and self-sufficient when it comes to finding jobs. But that doesn’t mean recruiters are obsolete, or that they can’t get involved in the process. Now is the perfect time to optimize the exact inbound channels that candidates are using.
If your organization’s resources are skewed more towards college information sessions and Facebook career pages, start reallocating them towards your own career site and a job notification system, for example. We are learning more and more about the research channels that matter most to job seekers. So there’s no reason not to tailor your talent acquisition strategy directly to those preferences.
Interested in revving up your recruiting engine and driving performance forward? Check out our recent eBook, “How to Rapidly Improve Your Quality of Hire.”