Job Seekers Want Honesty, Transparency, and Flexibility
May 19, 2023
By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM-approved partner, ASE
iHire has published a new research report uncovering job seekers’ preferences when searching for work. The What Candidates Want: 2023 Job Seeker Report details the results of iHire’s survey of a Qualtrics panel comprising 600 working professionals in all industries across the United States.
Survey findings include:
- Communication: Candidates want employers to communicate openly and honestly throughout the recruitment process. 95.5% of respondents want employers to acknowledge they’ve received their application after applying for a job online, and 81.8% want employers to inform them if they are disqualified from a job. Moreover, 38.7% of candidates said they would be less likely to interact with a brand in the future if they apply for a job and don’t hear back from the company.
- Pay Transparency: Candidates want to know salary ranges – and a lack of pay transparency can be a dealbreaker. 78.5% of candidates would be more likely to apply for a job if the salary was listed in the ad, while 44.7% said they would not apply if the salary was not specified.
- Flexibility: Candidates want some form of in-person work, but remote work options remain essential. 67.8% of respondents preferred either an in-person work environment (36.3%) or hybrid arrangement (31.5%). However, remote work was still a “must-have” for many job seekers: 42.7% of candidates said remote work was one of the most important aspects of their job search, and 27.2% said they wouldn’t bother applying for a job if remote work was not an option.
- Inclusivity: Candidates want employers to embrace fair, unbiased hiring practices. Although only 16.8% of respondents said a company’s commitment to DE&I was among the most important aspects of their job search, 41.7% said they would be more likely to apply for a job if they knew the employer used “blind” or “anonymous” recruitment tools to reduce bias and increase diversity hiring.
- Value: Candidates want employers to value their time, especially if they are putting in the work. While 62.6% of candidates want to spend less than 20 minutes on an online application, they are making an effort to get in front of employers: 57.7% customize their resume for the position they’re applying for “always” or “most of the time,” and 55.7% include a cover letter “always” or “most of the time” even if it’s not required. Additionally, 74.5% of candidates follow up on their applications “always” or “most of the time.”
- Options: Candidates want employment options beyond traditional full-time roles, particularly part-time jobs. 57.3% of respondents were interested in part-time work, compared to 51.7% interested in full-time opportunities. A portion of candidates were also looking for temporary jobs (17.8%), gig work (17.7%), and seasonal jobs (17.3%).
- Employer Brand: Candidates want to work for a company with a positive employer brand – and they want proof. 37.5% of candidates said a company’s reputation as a good place to work was one the most important factors in their job search, while 76% research the hiring company before applying for a job “always” or “most of the time.” Of those who do their research, 65.7% said they want to read employee reviews/testimonials to gauge what it’s really like to work for the company.
“Our research underscores the importance of a candidate-centric approach to hiring, as themes such as transparency, communication, flexibility, equity, and empathy appeared throughout survey responses,” said Steve Flook, iHire’s President and CEO. “We found it fascinating that nearly 40% of job seekers would be less likely to interact with a brand if they received a poor candidate experience. Employers who treat applicants well will not only have a competitive edge when it comes to recruiting, but also in their overall success as a business.”