Job zone 4: What it is and how to hire successful candidates

When you're in charge of hiring, it's helpful to group positions into different categories, known as job zones. Each job zone requires employees who have different levels of preparation. As one of the higher zones, job zone 4 occupations require candidates who have extensive education, experience, and training. Knowing how to find and hire the right people in job zone four can make your company more successful.

What is job zone 4?

Job zone 4 includes occupations that require considerable preparation to be successful. The Occupational Information Network developed job zones ranging from 1 to 5. People working in job zone 4 have completed more education, experience, and training than those in the lower zones but less than people working in job zone 5.

Most workers in this job zone have a college degree and several years of work experience in their respective fields. Others may have completed on-the-job or vocational training. Many people in this zone supervise, manage, or train other employees. They often have salaried positions in offices.

Some examples of job zone 4 occupations include:

  • Software developer
  • Teacher
  • Registered nurse
  • Financial analyst
  • Human resources manager
  • Real estate broker
  • Sales manager
  • Graphic designer

Job zone 4 education

Most occupations in job zone 4 require a four-year degree, and some workers may hold a post-graduate degree. However, some employees in this job zone may have an associate degree combined with significant work experience or on-the-job training. It's also common for people in this job zone to have additional certifications or licenses related to their fields.

Job zone 4 experience

Jobs in job zone 4 require more work experience, knowledge, or skills than in the lower three zones. Employees in this job zone usually have several years or more of relevant experience. For example, a sales manager has usually worked in the field for some time before getting promoted to management. Other occupations may require several years of on-the-job or vocational training before employees become qualified.

Job zone 4 demographics

The 2023 CareerBuilder survey, "Job Seekers: What They Want," studied the characteristics, motivations, and goals of job seekers in different career job zones. The study, done in partnership with Morning Consult, identified the following demographics of employees in job zone 4:

  • They're white-collar workers.
  • Over one-third of these employees have a graduate degree.
  • They're disproportionately male and married.
  • They're most likely to live in an urban area.
  • They usually have full-time jobs.
  • They have higher incomes, with over 40% of people making over $100,000.

People in job zone 4 have different career goals than those in the lower job zones. They're most interested in promotion or becoming a manager. A person in this job zone may apply for a new position if it will help them advance in their career. However, they're often happy in their current roles and the least likely group to dislike their jobs.

What workers in job zone 4 want

Those people who do want a new job in job zone 4 often feel frustrated by the "lack of availability of interesting jobs," according to the CareerBuilder survey. They're not necessarily wrong in this assumption. Recently, postings for white-collar jobs have fallen, and college-educated professionals are having a harder time finding new roles.

Knowing what candidates want in a new position is essential if you're hiring for jobs in this job zone. The top reasons these job seekers give for wanting a new job include:

  • Poor work-life balance
  • Stagnation in their current role

When they search for new jobs, they're looking for positions where they can earn a good salary, do interesting work, and make a positive impact. They also emphasize being able to work remotely or in convenient locations. Many want to help companies meet their financial goals.

"An employment brand can help you attract qualified candidates in job zone 4 with similar values, beliefs, and goals to your company."

How to hire job zone 4 employees

If you're hiring for open positions in job zone 4, here are ways to appeal to these candidates.

Build an employment brand

You can assume that potential candidates in job zone 4 will research your company before deciding whether to apply. They list "company reviews" as a top factor they consider when researching jobs. You can make a good impression on these job seekers by building an employment brand for your organization. This brand defines your company and what it's like to work there.

To create your brand, look at what's already out there about your company. Identify positive reviews or company achievements you can share with job seekers. Highlight those successes in job descriptions, on the company's career site, and in recruiting materials. An employment brand can help you attract qualified candidates in job zone 4 with similar values, beliefs, and goals to your company.

Write a creative job posting

It's most likely that candidates applying for a job zone 4 position already understand the role's duties and requirements. Rather than listing those in the job description, use this opportunity to attract people's attention. Write a creative job posting that focuses more on the benefits of working for your company. You may outline the opportunities for professional development or the generous benefits package your company offers. Make job applicants feel like the open position is an opportunity rather than simply a job.

Promote career advancement

Among job zone 4 employees, career advancement is a common goal. People working in this job zone want to get promoted or become managers. They don't want to work in a job where they'll feel stuck, with no opportunities to progress. Promote career advancement opportunities within your organization as part of your recruiting strategy. For example, you may emphasize a management training program or a certification course employees can take at no cost.

Provide a competitive salary

People working in job zone 4 have completed their education and gained experience to become qualified in their fields. As such, they expect fair compensation. Before you begin recruiting for the role, research other companies in the industry to determine the salary benchmark for similar positions. Ensure your company matches this benchmark to remain competitive in hiring talented applicants.

Once you determine the remuneration, consider including it in the job description. Job seekers in job zone four say they want salary insights and comparisons so they can decide whether to apply for a position. If you offer competitive pay, you can promote it in the job description to attract the top candidates.

Focus on the benefits

Common across all the job zones, employees want jobs with good terms and conditions. When hiring for job zone 4 jobs, focus on the specific benefits these candidates seek. Highlight flexible work arrangements in your job description, including hybrid or remote work. If you offer other competitive rewards, make sure prospective candidates know about those as well. Some benefits you may emphasize in the hiring process include:

  • Health and wellness programs
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Extensive vacation time
  • Volunteer days
  • Pet insurance
  • Corporate discounts

When you know what employees want, you can align your recruiting strategies to give yourself the best chance of finding talented candidates. In job zone 4, job seekers often look for new positions that will challenge them and help them grow in their careers. For more insights into these individuals' motivations, frustrations, and goals, download and review the "Job Seekers: What They Want" report, compiled by CareerBuilder and Morning Consult.

More tips on hiring experienced employees:

It's a competitive job market right now, so ensure you're giving your company an advantage with these helpful tips.

To hire the best employees in job zone 4, check out these five creative ways to recruit top talent.

Job seekers in job zone 4 are likely comparing different roles as they search. Make your job descriptions stand out by including these seven things.

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