Recruiters and talent professionals are adapting on the fly in today’s rapidly changing environment. As remote work becomes the norm, companies are rethinking their approach to recruiting. They’re taking steps to streamline and improve the candidate experience. And they’re finding ways to effectively onboard new employees who may not share physical space with their team.
While all of these changes are happening in real-time, it’s important to take a moment to consider what’s actually driving them. What does the “new normal” look like for job seekers, employers, and recruiting professionals? And what do businesses need to think about as they prepare to move forward?
Here are some insights and observations taken from the Jobvite 2020 Job Seeker Nation Survey that may prove useful as we navigate the uncharted waters ahead.
The Job Seeker Perspective
Everyone is a Job Seeker. Today’s workers will change jobs an average of 12 times in their career and many spend five years or less in each job — a dramatic shift from the old ideal of spending your entire career with one company. While frequent job changes were once viewed as an inability to “hold down” a job and or a lack of patience to “work your way up,” they’re now a sign of proactive career management and desire for professional growth. This means most people are constantly at some stage of a job search, even if they aren’t actively seeking new employment. In fact, our 2020 Job Seeker Nation Survey indicates that while 63% of employees are satisfied with their jobs, 48% are open to new roles.
Networking is Key — Both Online and Offline. Changing jobs means you’ll encounter a wide variety of people over the course of your career — from coworkers and bosses to vendors and other professional contacts. Social media sites like LinkedIn make it easier to maintain these connections over time, which can be vital when it comes time to find a new job. 36% of workers over age 40 utilize professional connections as part of their job search, compared to 27% of those under 40. Even more, trusted colleagues can be a source of support and guidance in defining your career path, especially when your next move is unclear. (Don’t forget: this is a two-way street.)
Technology is Everywhere and It’s Constantly Evolving. Technology touches every part of our work life, and professional communications take place almost exclusively in digital form, especially in today’s remote world. Top channels include email, text, instant messaging (like Skype), and video conferencing (like Zoom), but this list is sure to evolve quickly. Technology permeates the job search process as well: online job boards (69%) and social media platforms (42%) are cited as the most common ways people find out about job openings. In order to stay relevant, we need to keep up with technological trends and adapt to new ways of working.
PRO TIP: Check out our recommendations for the top tools for working — and living — from home.
Few Workers Fear They’ll Be Replaced by Automation. Despite the exponential growth of technology, the majority of workers (61%) are not worried that their jobs will be automated in the next five years. However, certain industries are more likely to feel vulnerable to automation, including software/technology (55%), telecommunications (51%) and transportation/utilities (39%).
The Employer Perspective
We’re Always Hiring. That’s Right — Always. Even amid record unemployment claims in March 2020, US employers hired 5.2 million people. Most companies aren’t currently hiring for growth, but they’re still bringing in new talent to fill key strategic roles and provide much-needed expertise. Cost reduction is a concern for many employers, which means companies should take the current slowdown as an opportunity to evaluate internal processes and systems throughout the organization — and hiring is no exception.
PRO TIP: Check out our blog post listing ways to help your business power through slow times.
Referrals can Streamline the Hiring Process. It’s no longer enough to post jobs on the internet and wait for the perfect candidate to apply. As a recruiter, you need to cultivate relationships and amass a network that sets the stage for referrals. One of the best ways to do this is with a robust employee referral program. Nearly one third (31%) of workers find out about job openings through professional connections, and 66% of workers are eager to invite those in their network to join their company — but 60% say their company doesn’t offer an employee referral program. This is clearly a missed opportunity and correcting it could pay dividends over the long term.
Growth Opportunities are Key to Attracting Talent. Conventional wisdom suggests that most employees follow the money when changing jobs. The reality is that career growth (56%) is the most important factor for most job seekers — edging out compensation (54%) and healthcare/retirement benefits (49%). In the competition for job candidates, employers that provide educational and growth opportunities for their employees have a significant advantage over those that don’t. As a side note, 54% of job seekers say the ability to work remotely is a key factor in accepting a job offer — making this a great incentive for attracting top talent.
Communication has Never Been More Important. Job seekers expect great communication from a prospective employer — and 54% say it’s the most important factor in a great candidate experience. Conversely, 42% point to a lack of responsiveness as the cause of a negative candidate experience. Fortunately for employers, candidates are open communications across a wide variety of channels, including email (80%), phone calls (59%), and text (42%). And of course, the need for great communication doesn’t end with an accepted offer — a strong onboarding program sets the stage for long-term employee success.
PRO TIP: Check out our tips for onboarding in a remote world.
Moving Forward — Together
Conditions are constantly changing for job seekers and employers alike, and this instability is likely to continue for some time. But one thing remains constant: at its core, the business of hiring is about people. At Jobvite, we believe the smart application of technology can help make “the new normal” a little simpler and more rewarding for everyone involved.
To learn more about how job seekers have adjusted to a new normal in light of COVID-19, check out this year’s Job Seeker Nation Report where we surveyed 1,500 job seekers and employees in February 2020, then surveyed a group again in April 2020 after the impact of COVID-19 started becoming a little clearer.