2017 Job Seeker Research | Here’s What You as an Employer Need to Know

Each year, JobGetter conducts job seeker research to ask questions about their experiences looking for and getting work. While it’s done to see how we can best help job seekers in their search for work, there are some valuable takeaways for employers in it too.  

This year in particular, we turned our focus to how education contributes to employability. We also looked at the general sentiment of the job seeking population in regard to the value of education as it relates to jobs and careers.

Here’s what Australia’s job seekers had to say and the messages that benefit employers:

“WE’RE TIRED OF BAD ADVERTISEMENTS AND NO FEEDBACK!”

Job ads that are unclear, use poetic licence or wax lyrical about the company but not the role really annoy job seekers.  With many spending over an hour in one job seeking session, they really want you to cut to the chase.

The disadvantage — to you — of not doing so is that job seekers will simply bypass your ad and click “next”, so you might be losing out on potentially great people.  Make sure your job ads say who and what you’re looking for, right up front.

“EMPLOYERS SIMPLY DON’T CARE ENOUGH”

Job seekers told us that they’re sick of hearing nothing back from employers and it affects both their perception of the company AND whether or not they will apply again. 

What’s worse, if you’re a consumer brand or retail business, it also affects whether or not they’ll shop with you!

Remember that these days news of bad service spreads fast — and that includes candidate service.  Put yourself in the job seeker’s shoes and remember that looking for a job is not a fun pastime – and it can be incredibly soul-destroying.  Sending a “thank you for your application” might be a second thought to you, but to a job seeker it can make a huge amount of difference  not only in the way they think of you as a company but also in keeping their spirits up while continuing their job search.

“THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IS NOT SETTING US UP FOR SUCCESS”

 A full 65% of job seekers told us that they felt that they hadn’t been sufficiently prepared to succeed in the workplace when undertaking studies. This means that the vast majority of job seekers believe that they don’t possess at least some of the key skills needed to succeed.

While it’s easy to blame educational institutions, we all have a role to play in letting them know what’s expected of graduates in terms of employability outcomes.  

At JobGetter, we believe that the education system needs to re-think its responsibility to employers and job seekers but we can’t beat that drum alone. Get involved with your local TAFE or University as an industry partner and help the students by giving them some of your real world challenges to solve.  You’ll be amazed at what it does for them – and for you!

“OUR BIGGEST BARRIER TO WORK IS LACK OF EXPERIENCE”

Job seekers are finding taking the first steps towards building  a career extremely difficult with some employers wanting experience for even entry-level positions (the ones that, by definition, are supposed to be the first rung on the career ladder!)  In fact, 40% of all job seekers said that experience was the biggest thing holding them back from getting a job.

Think about this from the job seeker’s perspective for a minute – if you can’t get a job, how do you get experience?

If you are offering entry-level positions, don’t expect two years of experience.  That’s simply unrealistic. Rather than advertising for an entry-level position requiring this type of experience, look for someone with good soft skills and offer them an internship. It gives you an opportunity to teach them the skills you need them to have while allowing them to demonstrate their abilities that might not be immediately recognisable through qualifications and interviews alone.

Be prepared to help someone develop the skills they need for a great future with your business, and — big picture! — your industry. 

“WE WANT BETTER ACCESS TO INTERNSHIPS AND PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE” 

52% of the job seekers surveyed said they wished they had better access to internships when they were studying. Internships not only a job seeker to get a chance to experience “real” work but they also offer a great chance for a business to have a look at new members of the workforce and can even be a great recruitment strategy for finding top young talent!

As the practical experience opportunities that job seekers want and need still aren’t being provided by most educators, it’s imperative that we look at work-integrated learning to help bridge the gap between education and employment.

If you believe that qualifications alone aren’t enough to get a job, be a part of the solution by offering internship and work experience opportunities with your company.  You can post an internship opportunity on JobGetter here…

“WE WANT MORE HOURS” 

Almost 40% of the people we asked who were employed at the time of the survey said they were looking for more work. Underemployment continues to be a massive issue in the Australian workforce and will only continue to grow.

In the past few years the ratio of part time to permanent roles has shifted to three to one but the majority of our job seekers – 72.9% –  said that they would prefer a full time position. This means that there is a huge disconnect between what job seekers want and expect and what employers are offering.

“WE LIKE JOBS THAT ALLOW FOR FLEXIBLE WORK TIMES”

Despite the shift towards part time work, many job seekers are still looking for more flexibility in the workplace. Working parents, in particular, identified their need for flexibility at work with 60% of them saying that they would forgo a job they really wanted in order to get the flexibility their family needed.

If you’re able to offer increased flexibility, you may find you attract more motivated and engaged workers that otherwise would have been unable or unwilling to apply.

Think creatively about how you can accommodate this in order to both maintain productivity and get the best people.

“WE LIKE TO BE STIMULATED AND CHALLENGED AT WORK – OR WE’LL MOVE ON”

Careers now aren’t what they used to be. The job seeker research indicates that more than ever, people are looking to change their job and career. Of the people that said they were looking for a new job, 62% said it was because they wanted more challenges.

This is good news for you because it gives you an opportunity to give star workers more responsibility.  If you know that people are driven by challenge, keep offering it up to them and you’ll not only reduce turnover but you’ll also increase employee engagement and create a culture of innovation and problem solving.

 

WHAT IS JOBGETTER DOING ABOUT THE LATEST JOB SEEKER TRENDS? 

Changing the way people apply for jobs is a big task. It requires employers, educators, and job seekers to think about their responsibilities to the process.  Communication is at the heart of this process and JobGetter is fully committed to getting the parties talking. Our Job Seeker Report is just one way we are gathering information to help more people get into work. By analysing job seeker trends we hope to create a better and more successful experience for you too.

Currently, JobGetter is:

  • Working with employers to find out what skills they require and how job seekers can develop them
  • Communicating with educators to push for more practical training and realistic workplace experiences
  • Researching the skills of the future and what jobs in industries can expect change

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

JobGetter was founded in 2011 by job seekers for job seekers so we really understand who motivates great people.  It’s this fundamental commitment to solving the challenges that people in the employment economy face by constructively challenging the status quo that sees JobGetter continue to drive the recruitment industry to keep pace with the changing world of work.

Because we understand the intrinsic motivations of job seekers, we know what it takes to attract them.

We help employers, both large and small, find the best people for their businesses.  We know how to attract hard-to-find people, help you with hiring overwhelm or can help you build unbelievable future talent teams for your business.

Please feel free to reach out to our Support Team at any time for help with your hiring needs — we’re here for you. 

Conclusion

We spoke to 1,442 job seekers, of which 50.13% said they were unemployed at the time of the survey. Keeping a finger on the pulse of the Australian workforce and gathering job seeker research allows us to work with employers, educators, and job seekers to find the best solutions available. We know what you want from your applicants, and we know that job seekers want to be in the best position to secure a job.

Leave a Comment