How to think like a job seeker, by the numbers

Sandra Kofler

It’s a chorus you can probably recite in your sleep: The U.S. unemployment rate remains at record lows while many open jobs still go unfilled for up to 12 weeks. So, where art thy qualified candidates? According to the data, you may have to create them yourself.

Earlier this year, CareerBuilder’s study with The Harris Poll* showed that in this time of qualified-labor low tide, recruiters and employers must take new approaches to sourcing and hiring. That includes providing job training to upskill current employees into higher positions, providing more competitive benefits and leveling up the candidate experience. Get out your notepad – here’s what employers and employees spilled the beans to us regarding hiring and getting hired.

State of the job market
  • One third of employers (34%) say their company currently has open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates
  • Nearly half (47%) say they have jobs that stay open for 12 weeks or longer
  • Just under half of employers (48%) have seen a negative impact on their business due to extended job vacancies, with the most common impact being productivity loss (28%)
  • Among those who have had extended job vacancies, they estimate these vacancies cost their company an average of $260,140 per year

The takeaway: You’re not alone if you’re feeling the pinch caused by hard-to-fill open roles. The quicker you can fill them, the less painful it will be – both on your bottom line and on your current staff who’s picking up the slack. Check out this new way to help you hire 32% faster.

  • 58% of employees think their company does not offer enough opportunities to learn new skills and help them move up in their career
  • 59% of employers plan to hire or train workers who may not have all the skills needed for the job, but have potential
  • 63% of employers say they have hired a candidate who didn’t have the skills required, with plans to train them
  • 56% of employers say they have paid for an employee to get training or education outside of the office so they could move up to a higher-skill job within their organization

The takeaway: If your company suffers from too many open roles and isn’t offering upskilling or training assistance, you may be losing out on great candidates to your competition. Offering this kind of assistance could help your company’s bottom line and help retain great current employees. 

Candidate experience
  • 75% of employees say they typically look for jobs online, most often via desktop (63%)
  • 28% say they applied for their current position by submitting an application directly through the company’s website
  • Of those who have applied for online, 48% say the longest amount of time they’ve spent on one application is under 30 minutes
  • What will cause a job seeker to give up on an application? Forty-two percent say when it’s difficult or confusing to complete, and 31% say when it takes too long to complete
  • 22% say that having to update or create a new resume prevents them from applying to positions they would be interested in

The takeaway: Your open jobs will get more interest if your application process is simple and straightforward. Test it out yourself and see whether it’s time for your company to make some changes to the candidate application experience. 

Bonus takeaway: Technology can help job seekers create or reformat a resume in under a minute.

  • Besides salary, benefits (according to 75% of employees) and commute time (according to 59% of employees) are the most important factors they consider when applying to a job
  • Employees rank location (56% of employees), job stability (55%) and affordable benefit plans (55%) as more important than salary when considering a position
  • The most common extra perk that employees say would make them more willing to join or stay with a company is half-day Fridays (42% of employees), followed by an on-site fitness center (23%) and award trips (21%)

 The takeaway: It’s not that hard–nor expensive–to give employees the most common things that will draw them to your company or make them want to stay. Half-day Fridays may sound counterintuitive in terms of productivity, but may also incentivize employees to get work done earlier in the week.

Ready to upgrade your company’s hiring portal? See how CareerBuilder can help.


*The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 1,021 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) and 1,010 employees ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between December 20, 2018 and January 16, 2019.

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