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Five things today’s job seekers want

When looking to fill a position, most employers have one goal in mind: recruit top talent. Who's the best fit for the job? Will the person be productive in our company culture? And ultimately, who has undeniable talent that will help our company ...

When looking to fill a position, most employers have one goal in mind: recruit top talent. Who’s the best fit for the job? Will the person be productive in our company culture? And ultimately, who has undeniable talent that will help our company grow and, therefore, increase revenue?

A hiring manager’s needs are black and white: a candidate who will make you - the company - profitable.
Today’s job seeker’s needs, however, are a little more subtle. Because landing the perfect job requires so much effort, perseverance, and time (6-15 hours per week on average), job seekers have established specific requirements for both the job search and the position they will ultimately accept.

What job seekers want
Today’s candidates are willing to ask as much from their future employer as their employer is asking of them.
Employers: what are you doing right (or wrong) in the recruiting and hiring process? What does your company lack in terms of the application process, culture and branding? And what are you willing to provide to get top-level talent in the door?
Here are five aspects that today’s job seekers are looking for:

1. Job postings on social media
According to a 2014 survey by Jobvite.com, today’s job seekers are tech and social savvy.
Twenty percent of job seekers continue to look for postings on job boards, but, surprisingly, even more people have turned to social media to find their next job (21 percent).
The networking ability that these social sites provide may be the most appealing factor.
Of the social media sites, Facebook (10 percent), LinkedIn (6 percent), and Twitter (5 percent) are the most utilized.
LinkedIn and Facebook give job seekers the ability to see mutual connections with employees at a company they’re interested in, giving them the chance to reach out for the inside scoop or a free pass for an interview.
Twitter has job post handles and accounts specific to job industries and location (i.e. @journalismjobs, @fargoNDjobs, etc).
Sites like Twellow and TweetMyJobs also allow job seekers to search Twitter for job posts.
By adding social media to your recruiting strategy, you will get the maximum applicants and, in turn, gain top talent that will fuel your company’s growth.

2. An online application
Today’s tech-savvy job seekers not only want their job listings on the web, they want the entire application process accessible online.
According to research by Hire Expectations Institute, “more than 42 percent of job seekers prefer an online application process through a company’s career portal over all other means.”
While the study reveals that online applications are necessary, as an employer, you must ensure that the career portal is seamless and the online application isn’t too long.
Only 3 percent of applicants finish the application if it is too long or requires too much information. Best practices suggest that the application process should take less than 15 minutes.
To streamline the process further, your company may consider allowing applicants to apply with a social media profile, such as LinkedIn, Google+, or Facebook.

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3. A job they love
Who doesn’t want a job they love? That’s the end goal, right? Being happy?
It’s true, today’s job seekers want a job they love, and they are willing to get it at the cost of a lower salary.
According to SimplyHired.com’s study, 83 percent of job seekers would rather have a job they love for lower pay than to find a job that pays well that they don’t like.
In fact, salary only factors in as 20 percent of what makes a job one that job seekers love. The work (37 percent) and people (29 percent) are the greatest reasons for being passionate about a job.
This reiterates why both an established ‘company brand’ and ‘employer brand’ are so important in 2015. While your consumer-facing company brand is important for sales, your established ‘employer brand’ is what attracts top talent.
Transparency about culture, current (happy) employees and work roles is important. Job seekers want to identify with the brand they work for, and part of their passion and motivation comes from the loyalty and pride they feel toward your company.

4. Opportunities to learn
The opportunity to learn and develop in their career is important for today’s job seekers. Forty percent of new grads feel this way, making it a higher priority than their salary and benefits (25 percent) or work-life balance (17 percent) when searching for a job.
Likewise, veteran job seekers want an environment that promotes learning so they can continue growing as a professional.
Promoting a ‘learning culture’ with extra training, industry-related seminars and conferences, or team-building activities will increase employee productivity that will give your company an edge over the competitor.

5. Flexible schedules
Job seekers today hope for - and often expect - flexibility in their prospective job. But why? According to a survey by Flexjobs.com, job seekers want flexible options to promote work-life balance (74 percent), family (54 percent), and health and exercise (52 percent).
Respondents said the number one reason for wanting to work from home, if even occasionally, was for productivity.
Fifty-four percent of job seekers said working from home was “their location of choice to undertake important job-related assignments.”
Flexibility benefits the employer as well. Job seekers understand that in gaining one amenity, they must compromise another.
To gain flexibility, 20 percent of job seekers surveyed said they were willing to take a 10 percent pay cut.
Twenty percent said they would forego health benefits, and 18 percent said they’d be willing to work more hours. By offering flexibility options to future employees, your company may be able to cut costs elsewhere.
In 2015, the employer isn’t the only one allowed to make demands in the hiring process.
When job seekers spend a significant amount of time and effort searching for jobs, it’s not surprising that they’ve become adept in the methods of doing so and savvy about the offer they accept in the end.
Matching job seeker’s criteria with your recruiting strategy could be just the leverage you need to attract the top-level talent you’ve been looking for.

Floersch is a content producer for Forum Content Studios and staff contributor on areavoices.com. Read more at alexandrafloersch.areavoices.com.

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