Glassdoor Study Reveals What Candidates Look for in Job Ads

Failing to include salary and location information in job ads is likely to cause a significant drop in applicants, revealed a new study conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor.

The survey, which polled over 700 UK adults in May 2018 who are either currently employed or not employed but looking for work, uncovered multiple insights into what employees and job seekers value most when it comes to looking at job ads, what entices them to apply to a company, and how and where they prefer to find jobs.

Money Talks When Writing Job Ads

Whether to include salary ranges in job ads is a hotly debated topic, yet it’s clear that employees and job seekers desire pay transparency: 62 percent cited it as the most important factor they looked for in job ads.

Other top factors were:

  • Location (61 percent)
  • Commute time (49 percent)
  • Benefits (48 percent)
  • Employee reviews (32 percent)

“Job seekers crave transparency on pay, not only to make an initial judgment about whether to consider applying for a job, but also to assess if an employer holds long-term potential for them,” said Julie Coucoules, Glassdoor’s Global Head of Talent Acquisition. “Quality candidates are typically well-researched and those that go beyond job ads and look for a richer set of background data that includes benefits and employee reviews, among other specific traits about an employer. This means that employers should make information available to job candidates proactively, or they risk missing out on quality candidates applying.”

Job ads are no longer just a source of information on the roles and requirements of a position — they are employers’ most important recruitment marketing assets. So if your job ads are completely focused on what you’re looking for in a new hire versus what you have to offer, they may not be resonating with candidates, especially in a job seeker’s labour market like the one we currently find ourselves in.

[Related: It’s Time to Rewrite Your Job Descriptions]

What Matters Most to Candidates

In today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected world, it can be nearly impossible to switch off from work. That’s why joining a company that encourages good work-life balance — proven to significantly benefit both workers and employers — is one of the top selling points for nearly half (47 percent) of job seekers, research found.

An easy, convenient commute was most important to 48 percent of job seekers, followed by high salaries and attractive benefits and perks. Company culture (35 percent), whether the company’s financial performance is good (25 percent) and familiarity with the brand (24 percent) were found to be less important to job seekers.

How to Reduce Employee Churn

While an easy commute, good work-life balance and a competitive salary may be what gets employees in the door, they aren’t necessarily what keeps them from jumping ship. Forty-one percent of respondents reported company transparency on pay and benefits important in helping them assess long-term potential, followed by an explanation from employers about how they can grow within the company (34 percent) and having a track record for promoting from within (33 percent).

A separate study by Glassdoor’s Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain showed that once in a job, culture and values are the biggest driver of employee satisfaction, followed by career opportunities and senior leadership.

[Related: Hiring for Keeps: How to Reduce Churn and Keep Your Best Hires]

Where to Advertise Jobs

The job search has largely moved online, but that doesn’t mean that all online channels are considered equal. Half of workers/job seekers (52 percent) say their preferred source for finding a relevant new job opportunity is an online job site, such as Glassdoor, compared to 35 percent via a company’s careers site. Other preferred sources included:

  • Hearing about the job from a friend (32 percent)
  • Having a recruiter or hiring manager reach out to them (31 percent)
  • Hearing about a job through a recruitment agency (24 percent)

Online channels also proved to be the most popular resources for researching employers, with nearly half of job seekers (48 percent) saying job search websites are where they look for information on a company they might like to work for, outranking word of mouth (41 percent), professional networking sites/social media (31 percent), personal networking (29 percent) and company careers pages (28 percent).

“Job seekers are taking control of their own destiny by harnessing the power of information to find the right job and employer for them,” said Coucoules. “Today, job seekers are more informed than ever. By helping prospective talent find and access the information they want, you’ll be helping your recruiting efforts.”

[Related: 10 Reasons to Advertise on Glassdoor]

How Men and Women Look for Jobs Differently

Most job seekers share some obvious commonalities, but research found that there are marked differences between how male and female job seekers look for new roles and what entices them to apply.

For instance, 53 percent of women surveyed indicated that a company reputation for offering a good work-life balance would make them more likely to apply to a job, while only 42 percent of men would be attracted by this perk.

Survey data also found that among respondents, women (38 percent) and more likely than men (27 percent) to look for employee reviews as a key piece of information when researching a company they might like to work for. Of Glassdoor’s nearly 57 million unique users each month, half (51 percent) are women and half (49 percent) are men.

Men and women also demonstrate differences when it comes to their preferred source for finding a new job opportunity. In fact, 59 percent of women said they prefer to find a job via an online job site, compared to 47 percent of men. Similarly, 35 percent of women would like to find out about a job opportunity through a friend, compared to only 29 percent of men.

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