Study Reveals Nine Surprising Lessons for Job Seekers and Recruiters

Chicago — Oct. 17

What can be a deal breaker for landing a new job or finding the right candidate? What do employers expect from candidates and vice versa? A new study from CareerBuilder provides insights for both job candidates and the employers who want to hire them.

The survey, which included 5,518 job seekers and 2,775 hiring managers, was conducted online within the U.S. and Canada by Inavero on behalf of CareerBuilder in July.

Lessons for Job Seekers
Be ready to speak with the top brass. Prepare for every job interview as if you’ll be speaking with the CEO or other senior leader, because that may very well be the reality for some workers. Thirty eight percent of employers reported that job candidates are required to interview with a C-level executive within their organization.

Also, make sure your online persona is free of digital dirt. A significant number of employers will use the Internet to discover additional information about a job candidate.

• 48 percent of employers will use Google or other search engines to research candidates.
• 44 percent will research the candidate on Facebook.
• 27 percent will monitor the candidate’s activity on Twitter.
• 23 percent will review the candidate’s posts or comments on, or other rating sites.

Know your audience. While a lack of skills is the primary reason why many employers will dismiss a job candidate from consideration, two other factors often come into play that can knock you out of the running. Look for those companies that are aligned with your work values.

• 23 percent of employers will dismiss a candidate who is not a good fit for their company culture.
• 18 percent will eliminate candidates whose salary expectations are too high.
• Proper etiquette is required. Not only do you need to make a good impression during the interview, you need to reinforce it afterwards.
• 58 percent of employers said it’s important to send a thank you after an interview; 24 percent said it’s very important.

Lessons for Recruiters
If you’re not mobile, you’re not truly accessible. Nearly two in five employers (39 percent) have jobs that stay open four months or longer due to the inability to find people with appropriate skills. Mobile job search is growing at an accelerated rate, and employers who aren’t mobile-optimized are missing out on key talent they need to find quickly.

At least half of job seekers with mobile devices spend three hours or more looking for jobs via those devices every week — 49 percent on smartphones and 59 percent on tablets.
Sixty five percent of workers who search for jobs via mobile devices will leave a website if it is not mobile-optimized; 40 percent walk away with a more negative opinion of the company.

Also, reputation can carry more weight than money. When job seekers were asked if they would consider a salary that is 5 percent less than their lowest acceptable salary, a significant number said they would depending on the company’s image and applicant experience.

Sixty eight percent said they would accept a lower salary if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process; the challenge here is 29 percent of job seekers don’t think employers do a good job of reinforcing why their companies are a good place to work.

Job seekers also said they would accept a lower salary if the company had exceptionally positive reviews online (67 percent) or if the company had a lot of positive press recently (65 percent).

Job seekers say an employment brand is a must-have. While not a new concept, what is alarming is only 38 percent of employers believe their company has a very clearly defined employment brand. This can adversely impact job seeker perceptions and ultimately application rates.

Nearly half (46 percent) of workers said a company’s employment brand plays a very big role in their decision to apply for a job within the organization; another 45 percent say it plays somewhat of a role.

Unresponsiveness can have a ripple effect. An earlier CareerBuilder study shows that job seekers who don’t hear back after applying to an employer are more likely to stop buying products or services from the company.

Sixty two percent of job seekers don’t feel the companies they have applied to have been responsive.
In contrast, 56 percent of employers admitted that they don’t respond to all candidates or acknowledge receipt of their applications; 33 percent said they don’t follow up with candidates they interviewed with to let them know they didn’t get the job.

Flexibility is the new norm. Job seekers are placing a heavier emphasis on a company’s ability to provide a good work-life balance when they are considering a job offer.

Seventy two percent of workers said it’s important that a company offers flexible schedules when they are deciding whether to take a position; 44 percent said it’s important that the company provide telecommuting options.

Source: CareerBuilder