9 Job Search Trends Every Employer Needs To Know


by Jason Buss, SmartRecruiters

The competition for talent continues to heat up. According to Manpower’s 2014 Talent Shortage Survey, 40% of US employers experience difficulty filling jobs. As the power in the job market shifts from employer to candidate, understanding job seeker trends enables organizations to fine tune recruitment strategies and provides leverage for prospective candidates.

Here are ten trends every hiring manager and job seeker needs to know:

  1. Job boards remain popular: Job boards are the initial ‘go-to’ for job seekers and according to LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trend Survey produced the highest quantity of hires in 2014. Quantity doesn’t mean quality (Zappos famously ceased to post on job boards last year) so discerning hiring managers must screen resumes carefully. To stand out from the crowd, job seekers should tailor resumes to their targeted vacancy.
  2. Mobile first: Today’s candidates look for vacancies on the move. Kelton Global Research revealed that 86% of job seekers begin a job search on their mobile. Employers with mobile optimized sites will benefit as job seekers veer towards organizations offering a straightforward ‘1 click apply’ facility on their careers site.
  3. Social recruiting diversion: LinkedIn is usually the first choice for recruiters but it’s no longer a case of one ‘source’ fits all. Job seekers have profiles and hang out on many sites. Where talent ventures, hiring managers follow. For candidates, the focus is on maintaining a current social media profile to attract the attention of employers and recruiters.
  4. Talent communities: Research released by The Talent Board reinforces the importance of talent pools in the candidate experience. Today’s job seekers target employers who nurture online talent communities and communicate consistently throughout the hiring process. Unhappy candidates vocalize their experience on Glassdoor, not just employees.
  5. Keywords dominate: Initial job searches are based on keywords, increasing pressure on employers to create compelling, keyword-rich job posts. Job seekers who want to attract the attention of employers and recruiters must embed relevant keywords in online profiles.
  6. Employee referrals: As talent gets scarce, employee referrals will become a primary source of quality hires. Serious candidates are adopting a more strategic approach which includes the development of a well-connected professional network as an integral part of their job search.
  7. The perpetual job search: A Right Management survey revealed that 86% of professionals planned to look for a new job in 2015 with the majority constantly open to explore new opportunities. While compensation is important, as Google’s head of HR pointed out, work has to be meaningful too. Employers must provide a culture that matches the aspirations of today’s job seekers.
  8. Passive recruitment: So-called ‘stealth’ searches will continue to feature in global hiring strategies and impact the job search. LinkedIn suggests three quarters of professionals passively seek a new job, almost matched by the 72% of US employers who recruit passive talent.
  9. Outsourcing gains ground: A 2014 Elance-oDesk study revealed that 34% of US workers now freelance in some form. Employers can leverage this trend by outsourcing specific fixed term projects to independent contractors. In turn, entrepreneurial job seekers create the work/life balance they desire.

Whether you choose to learn more about these or other job search trends in 2015, it’s clear that for many industries and organizations recruiting continues to be both a top priority and challenge. What other trends are you seeing?

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