We’re always studying job seeker behavior, looking for ways to give our clients a recruiting advantage. And while some aspects of job seeker behavior have changed profoundly in the past two years, other aspects have not changed in the slightest.
The Big Changes
When someone decides to go online and look for a job, they go about it quite differently than they did a few years ago. Tiny changes in candidate behavior have rendered most recruiting strategies obsolete, but few employers even noticed.
I distilled some of the most compelling research into a short PowerPoint presentation on “Changes in the Recruiting Landscape.” As you might expect, that presentation has received quite a bit of attention, in fact I was recently interviewed by Joe Coombs, the Workplace Trends and Forecasting Specialist for SHRM. (You can read the interview here: “Technology is Changing the Nature of Recruiting, Job Searching.“)
To summarize the research, employers need to recognize that a growing percentage of job seekers are conducting their search on a mobile device. And while traditional job boards are seeing less traffic, Indeed is seeing more–they are now the top job site in the US, with 62% of all job seekers landing there in January 2013.
What Didn’t Change at All?
Most people are not job seeking. Technology has not changed the number of people that employment advertising will reach.
More than 80% of fully-employed candidates are not looking at ads, no matter where they are posted, or how mobile-friendly they are. LinkedIn research has repeatedly found this. (You can download their free research paper here: “Job Seeking Behavior of the Fully Employed.”) Our own experience proves the validity of the LinkedIn research. In the past few months, we have compellingly written ads, posted at great expense in all the right places, all with the “Easy Apply” mobile functionality. But 80% of our best candidates were the people we contacted directly, not the people who answered ads.
So employers, while it’s important to understand what has changed in job seeker behavior, it is perhaps even more important to recognize what has not changed. Even the most cleverly designed employment advertising strategy will miss 4 out of 5 people.