Job Seekers Embrace Improved Job Market

Study explored the behavior, attitudes of job seekers

By Kathy Gurchiek Mar 4, 2015

Employers may want to rev up their retention strategies: The increasing strength of the U.S. job market has many workers looking for their next job. That includes a hefty percentage who say they intend to look for other employment even though they are satisfied with their current job, according to Jobvite’s 2015 Job Seeker Nation Study.

The study explored how the behavior and attitudes of job seekers have shifted as a growing economy puts job seekers more in control of their future. There were 257,000 seasonally adjusted jobs added in January, according to a U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics report issued Feb. 6, 2015.

The Society for Human Resource Management’s Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) report finds the market is tilting toward the job seeker, SHRM Online reported Feb. 6, the same day the New York Times reported that employers had added more than 1 million new workers since Nov. 1, 2014.

Among the Jobvite study’s findings: 60 percent of 2,084 adult U.S. workers surveyed were equally or more optimistic about job opportunities at the end of 2014 compared to 2013. Additionally, 45 percent would take a new job even though they are happy in their current position.

The study, conducted online Nov. 14-17, 2015, confirms that the improved economy “is having concrete results for job seekers,” said Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite, in a news release.

“Now they have more options, everywhere they look.”

Some respondents see their current job as a stepping stone to something better—an attitude shared by 41 percent of respondents ages 30-39, while many of those younger consider their job to be entry level.

No industry was exempt. Fifty-five percent of health care workers said they were satisfied with their current job but open to a new one, for example, while 53 percent of individuals working in software/technology and 51 percent of those in education shared this view.

“Companies must cast a wider net to capture this talent,” Finnigan pointed out. “Today, job seekers are using social and mobile to apply for jobs and gain insight into a company’s culture and values. Ignoring these platforms isn’t an option; companies must showcase their brand and be everywhere job seekers are.”

A higher percentage of individuals—especially Millennials—use Facebook to search for jobs, compared to Twitter and LinkedIn, for example. Jobvite noted that while 94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find job candidates, only 40 percent of job seekers who rely on social media to job hunt use this platform.

What Do Job Seekers Want?

Money is the primary reason most people would take another job, but a job’s location is important, too, especially for Baby Boomers and Millennials. Additionally, men and women equally value work/life balance when considering a new job. A company’s mission, leadership and culture matter the least overall when considering a new job.

Job seekers have expectations of a company’s job site platform. Most for example, want to be able to see job listings without registering on a company site, and those ages 18-29 especially value being able to apply for jobs using mobile technology.

Mobile technology has made it possible to search for a job 24/7 and from anywhere:

*47 percent of respondents have conducted a job search from bed.

*38 percent have searched during their daily commute.

*36 percent have searched at a restaurant.

*30 percent have searched at work.

*21 percent have searched during a meeting.

*18 percent have searched while in the restroom.

This is the sixth year for the study. The survey data was weighted to closely match the gender and age distribution, and to correspond to the regional population, of the U.S., according to Jobvite. Approximately 1,282 of the 2,084 respondents were in the U.S. labor force at the time the survey was conducted.

Kathy Gurchiek is the associate editor at HR News. Follow her @SHRMwriter.


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