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What matters most to job seekers

What matters most to job seekers

A new study has found that work-life balance and employer brand and reputation are what matters most to job seekers. Are you offering what they want?

Job seekers prize work-life balance and culture, according to a new survey.

Employers are optimistic about the near future of hiring. According to CareerArc’s 2021 Future of Recruiting Study, three quarters (76%) of companies believe 2021 hiring demand will return to pre pandemic levels and even exceed them. They are anxious about retention and turnover, however, and with good reason. While 39% of companies believe at least one in five people in their workforce are currently looking for new jobs at other companies, that number is actually closer to three in five, as the study also revealed that 61% of full-time employees are seeking new jobs in 2021. Eighty-eight percent, meanwhile, are concerned about the lack of jobs in their field, and two-thirds (68%) of those blame this lack of jobs to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

The survey included 1,156 respondents — 667 North American adults and 489 human resources and hiring professionals. More findings include:

  • Work-life balance is the most important thing to job seekers. More than half (53%) say knowing a prospective employer would offer poor work-life balance would immediately dissuade them from applying to that company.
  • Job seekers also look at employer brand and culture when evaluating job opportunities. Eighty-two percent consider employer brand and reputation before applying to a job and half (53%) of job seekers cite poor or diminishing employer brand and reputation as one of the reasons for quitting a previous job; 20% cite it as the main reason they left.
  • Social media has increased in importance, with 61% of job seekers saying they increased their social media usage in 2020. Eighty-six percent use social media in the job search and have viewed, searched for, applied to, and engaged with job and employment related social media content and/or reached out to contacts and recruiters about jobs on social media.
  • Diversity hiring is a priority for both employers and job seekers. One quarter of job seekers (26%) say that diversity, equity, and seeing inclusion messages published by employers would make them more likely to apply to that company. Sixty-three percent say they check social media for employee and consumer comments about workforce diversity, or lack thereof, at a company.
  • Among employers, launching or expanding diversity hiring programs is among the top three hiring initiatives for 2021.

The takeaway for employers is simple. If you’re worried about turnover, treat your employees well and be mindful of not burning them out or infringing on their personal time. Look after your teams and pay attention to your employer brand and culture.

These days, the best workplace cultures are diverse. It’s what employees want. Give it to them. You might have to move away from your traditional idea of hiring for “fit” and redefine what that looks like.

Engage with people on social media and make time to spend a few minutes engaging online when they reach out. Make your company and great place to work and communicate that with the world.  

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