New CareerBuilder Study Unveils Surprising Must Knows for Job Seekers and Companies Looking to Hire
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Although 76 percent of full-time, employed workers are either actively looking for a job or open to new opportunities, nearly half (48 percent) of employers can't seem to find the workers they need to fill their job vacancies. A new study from CareerBuilder highlights seven important facts every employer and job seeker should know as they're trying to connect with one another. 

CareerBuilder's 2016 Candidate Behavior study, conducted by Inavero between February 5 and March 1, 2016, included more than 4,505 workers ages 18 and over, and 1,505  hiring decision makers. View full results and the executive summary here.

"Job seekers may have more of an edge in today's market as employers grow increasingly competitive for labor – but need to follow new rules of engagement," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources for CareerBuilder. "For employers, it's important to remember that the candidate experience starts from the very first click and can impact how effectively a company is able to recruit quality candidates, the popularity of its employer brand, the strength and quality of its referrals, and even its bottom line."

Below are takeaways on what both job seekers and employers can do to stand out from the competition.

Must Knows for Job Seekers

The seven facts every job seeker should know about job hunting:

  1. It may take longer than you think to land the job. The average time it takes to find a job – from the moment a job search begins to the point of accepting an offer – is typically at least two months. Depending on the field and location, it can take even longer, so don't get frustrated if you don't get hired right away. 
  2. Companies aren't done with you if you don't get the job offer. Fifty-four percent of employers re-engage with past candidates who were not given job offers. Stay connected by joining an employer's talent network or signing up to be automatically alerted to new job openings through job sites.
  3. Your resume is not enough. More than half (53 percent) of employers say a resume doesn't provide enough information for them to assess whether someone is a good fit for the job. If you're just providing a resume, you may lose out. They want to see a cover letter, professional portfolio where applicable, recommendations and links to social media profiles.
  4. Companies are looking for skills that may surprise you. Yes, companies want to know your work history and the hard skills associated with a particular job function. But, did you know that 63 percent of employers said one of the top questions they're trying to answer when looking for candidates is "what are their soft skills?" Make sure to highlight these less tangible skills associated with personality such as having a positive attitude, being dependable and working well under pressure.
  5. The competition may be putting in more hours than you. On average, job seekers spend 11 hours a week searching for jobs. Are you putting in more or less time than the competition?
  6. You may not work in your field of study. 1 in 3 people (36 percent) don't work in a career related to their degree. Keep an open mind. Employers focus on relevant skills and whether or not you seem trainable enough for the job, so you likely have more career options than you imagined.
  7. Employers will pay more. With competition heating up for positions at all skill levels, two-thirds (66 percent) of employers plan to offer higher starting salaries this year1. Job seekers are in a better negotiating position, so you want to avoid taking the first offer in most cases.

Must Knows for Employers

The seven facts every employer should know about the candidate job search experience:

  1. Candidates are less likely to jump through hoops. The market has become more employee-centric and candidates are quicker to drop off if the application seems too cumbersome. One in five candidates said they are not willing to complete an application that takes them 20 minutes or more, and 76 percent want to know how long it will take them to finish an application before it starts. However, the majority of job seekers said they would be willing to endure a lengthy application process if the company is offering a higher base salary.
  2. Candidates move on quickly. An inefficient, slow-moving hiring process will kill your recruiting efforts. Sixty-six percent of job seekers said they will wait less than two weeks to hear back from the employer before considering the opportunity a lost cause and moving on to another.
  3. If you're hard to find online, candidates will be too. Most candidates (64 percent) said after reading a job posting, they will spend time researching before applying. If they can't find the info they need on the company, 37 percent of all candidates will just move on to the next company or job listing. Your company career site and social presence must be strong.
  4. Candidates expect more information in the job listing. It's not enough to describe the company and job. The top things candidates said they want to see in a job posting include:

    Salary – 74 percent
    Total benefits package – 61 percent
    Employee ratings – 46 percent
    Contact info of hiring manager – 40 percent
    Work from home options – 39 percent
    How the company provides work/life balance – 35 percent
    Photos/videos of the work environment – 31 percent
    • Team structure and hierarchy of the role – 27 percent
    How many people applied – 25 percent

  5. Millennials may swipe left if your mobile capabilities are weak. 1 in 10 millennials said they would drop a company out of consideration if they couldn't apply to a job via their mobile device. So if your site isn't mobile ready, your pages take too long to load or you have poor navigation through mobile, you could be losing fresh new talent.
  6. You may not be covering all your bases. Consumers audiences are very fragmented. Job seekers use up to 16 sources in their job search. Are you everywhere they are?
  7. You may not know how good or bad your process is in the eyes of candidates. Only 31 percent of employers claim to have tried applying to one of their company's open jobs to see what the process is like. Put on that job seeker hat and go to one of your jobs, and go to your career site, and interact with your company through the eyes of the job seeker so you can make improvements where needed.

Survey Methodology
In partnership with Inavero, CareerBuilder surveyed 4,505 workers, ages 18 and over and 1,505 hiring decision makers, between February 5, 2016 and March 1, 2016 in the United States, 505 workers in Canada in an effort to understand the factors that influence candidates' job search behavior. With pure probability samples of 505 and 5,010, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling errors of +/- 4.01 and +/- 1.38 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
As the global leader in human capital solutions, CareerBuilder specializes in cutting-edge HR software as a service to help companies with every step of the recruitment process from acquire to hire. CareerBuilder works with top employers across industries, providing job distribution, sourcing, workflow, CRM, data and analytics in one pre-hire platform. It also operates leading job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

1 CareerBuilder commissioned study of 2,338 hiring and human resource managers nationwide conducted online by Harris Poll November-December, 2015

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SOURCE CareerBuilder