Key Takeaways for Small Businesses from the CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior Study

May 18, 2016 Pete Jansons

As a small business employer, you and your staff often have to wear many hats. Where larger companies have entire teams dedicated to recruiting new employees, this task often falls on you or another member of your staff who’s also juggling a multitude of other projects. With so much going on, it’s often hard to create a focused recruitment strategy.

Thanks to a new survey from CareerBuilder, there’s new insight to help small business employers understand what job seekers are really thinking about when they search for jobs.

For its 2016 Candidate Behavior Study, CareerBuilder surveyed more than 5,000 job seekers across the U.S. and Canada to find out what job seekers really think about the application process, how they approach the job search, and what they want most in a new job and potential employer.

These insights are invaluable for the small business workers who play a key role in the hiring process, and will help guide them as they seek to find the employees who will help grow their businesses.

I’ve outlined some of the top takeaways for small business employers from the study below:

  • The big questions: When asked about the question job seekers are trying to answer in their job search, the most popular question is, “What would be my day to day job?” Followed closely by “What’s the average salary?” Other top questions include: “Where is the company located?” “Who’s hiring?” and “What skill sets are they willing/not willing to negotiate on?”
  • Apply now? Only 36 percent of job seekers apply to a job immediately after reading a job posting. The majority (64 percent) will spend more time doing research first.
  • Doing their homework: When asked what the spend the most time researching outside of information on the job posting, 65 percent of candidates looked up where the company was located, 60 percent looked for salary ranges for the position, and 54 percent investigated what it was like to work at the company.
  • Going in-depth: On average, job seekers a total of 16 resources in their job search. When asked why they use so many resources, the most popular reasons were: They like to be as informed as possible (68 percent); they want to get multiple perspectives/opinions (47 percent); and they aren’t receiving all of the information they need from a single source (34 percent).
  • Pet peeves: For 45 percent of job seekers, their biggest job search frustration is not getting any response from employers. Thirty-five percent say there aren’t enough interesting jobs available, and the same amount say they get frustrated when salaries or pay ranges aren’t disclosed.



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