Most occupations fall into distinct categories, known as job zones, which you can use to your advantage when hiring. Employees in job zone 3 have job-specific education or training with specialized skills. Examples of job zone 3 jobs include electricians, administrative assistants, and tax preparers. Knowing who these workers are and what they want can help you attract, recruit, and hire the right people for your company.
What is job zone 3?
Job zone 3 refers to occupations that require mid-level preparation, such as an associate degree or on-the-job experience. The Occupational Information Network developed the different job zones, and job zone 3 falls right in the middle. People working in job zone 3 might coordinate, supervise, or manage others in their roles. Examples of job zone 3 jobs include:
- Legal secretary
- Administrative assistant
- Real estate sales agent
- Tax preparer
- Medical assistant
Job zone 3 education and experience
When hiring for job zone 3 positions, knowing the necessary education and experience for these roles is essential so you can convey those requirements to job seekers. Typically, job zone 3 jobs require candidates to complete an associate degree or vocational training. Some job zone 3 employees, such as electricians, must complete an apprenticeship and become licensed as part of their training.
Ensure you describe the educational and training requirements clearly in the job description. For example, you may state that you're looking for candidates with a relevant associate degree and one to two years of on-the-job experience.
Job zone 3 demographics
By learning more about the employees who make up job zone 3, you can effectively target those candidates in your recruiting efforts. The 2023 CareerBuilder survey "Job Seekers: What They Want," completed in partnership with Morning Consult, identified these demographics of job zone 3 workers.
- They're most likely to have a two-year degree.
- They are disproportionately female and single.
- They tend to live in suburban areas.
- They make anywhere between $35,000 and $100,000 per year.
Regarding hiring, job zone 3 employees are the least likely to search for new jobs or transition to different industries. That can make recruiting qualified candidates for skilled positions more difficult, especially since younger workers don't seem to be lining up for these jobs. NPR recently reported that Gen Z employees, classified as people born between 1997 and 2012, aren't applying for jobs in skilled trades or technical industries. Indeed, the number of young people applying for those jobs dropped 49% in just two years.
"By learning more about the employees who make up job zone 3, you can effectively target those candidates in your recruiting efforts."
What workers want in job zone 3 positions
If your company needs job zone 3 workers, you may feel discouraged by these employment trends. That's why knowing what these employees want in new jobs is important. With this information, you can attract and recruit skilled workers more easily.
For the most part, people who work in job zone 3 enjoy their jobs. They find their work interesting and rewarding, according to the CareerBuilder survey. However, a job zone 3 employee may consider leaving their job if they can find a new one with more pay and better benefits. Compensation is one of the biggest factors impacting their job search.
In addition, many job zone 3 employees say they'd prefer to work remotely. While some job zone 3 jobs require in-person work, consider whether you can offer flexible working arrangements to these employees. Even a hybrid schedule, where employees split their time between home and the office, can be a significant advantage when recruiting for job zone 3 positions.
Tips for hiring job job zone 3 positions
When hiring for job zone 3 positions, consider these tips and strategies to improve your recruitment process.
Recruit recent graduates
One of the best places to find skilled job zone 3 candidates is vocational schools and community colleges in your area. Contact the school's administration or career center for opportunities to speak with soon-to-be graduates. When you meet students, discuss the positions you have available. Mention the need for people to fill these jobs in your industry. Recruiting recent graduates can be a great way to find employees wanting to learn and grow with your company.
Attend industry events
Industry events are another place to meet and network with people working in job zone 3 jobs. Attend events such as trade shows and industry conferences. Sign up to be a speaker or host a booth so you can talk to workers directly. Ensure you bring materials, for example, flyers, postcards, or business cards, so attendees can gain more information about your company and available jobs.
Target job boards
Since job zone 3 workers have specific skill sets, they often have fewer resources when searching for new jobs. According to the CareerBuilder survey, job zone 3 employees use employer websites and job boards to find openings, and they're interested in getting job alerts that match their experience and skills. Make sure you're targeting these job boards to find qualified candidates. Create a concise, focused job description that clearly outlines the position's responsibilities so candidates searching for those jobs can find them easily.
Sell the position
Ensure you're selling the position to potential employees in your posting. Highlight the specific skills required for the role, such as technical or problem-solving abilities. Discuss employees' opportunities for additional training or career advancement within the organization. When you describe the position's value, you're more likely to attract candidates who take pride in their work.
Improve the candidate experience
Consider the way candidates apply for jobs with your company. Is it easy to make an application for an open position? If not, you may turn away good candidates before they apply. Review the candidate experience to ensure job seekers can find open positions and submit their application materials without taking extra steps. Once they apply, aim to streamline the hiring process so it doesn't drag on. For example, you may limit the process for job zone 3 hiring to an initial phone conversation and in-person interview for the top applicants.
Promote employee benefits
Compared with other job zones, employees in job zone 3 have the most fears about leaving a job they feel comfortable doing. However, they're likely to consider a new position with better terms and conditions. Promote the compensation package you offer employees in your hiring and recruiting materials. Mention the top perks in the job description and discuss salary and benefits during job interviews. Some competitive benefits you may highlight include:
- Flexible work schedules
- Free food or snacks
- Vacation time
- Gym memberships or wellness stipends
- Corporate discounts
Offer career training and development
Employees in job zone 3 often have specialized skill sets and may think they lack the transferable skills needed to advance in their careers. You can give your company an advantage with these workers by offering career training and development. This may include upskilling, management training, or certification courses. Emphasize these career advancement opportunities as you recruit people for job zone 3 occupations. It can help them understand their options to grow their careers with your organization.
People working in job zone 3 have specialized skills and experience that make them valuable employees to your organization. Ensure you tailor your recruitment strategy to their needs so you can find and hire the best candidates. If you want more insights into job seekers' motivations, frustrations, and goals in today's job market, download a copy of CareerBuilder's "Job Seekers: What They Want" survey.
More tips on recruiting qualified candidates:
You can only hire the right employees if you get good-quality candidates. Check out these five must-have recruiting practices to find them.
The labor shortage continues to persist across the job market. Use these tips to find, attract, and recruit top talent, even during challenging times.
Competitive wages are important to job zone 3 workers — and most workers. Ensure you're offering them attractive compensation packages.