5 things you don’t know about the modern jobseeker
By: Jean-Paul Diaz-Caneja
Reading time: 6 min

The quality of your staff can make or break your business, so you’ll know that it’s important to recruit the right people. But the world of recruitment is moving on so rapidly that you might not have realised just how the today’s jobseeker has changed. You might be looking in the wrong places, or not be quick enough to recruit the talent that will really give your business the edge.

Here are five features of the modern jobseeker that you need to recognise:

  1. They use technology. REALLY use technology

Many of today’s potential candidates – and this goes for older people, too, as well as millennials who have grown up as digital natives – have harnessed the transformational power of technology for themselves in all aspects of their lives, and this includes job hunting. Online job boards are still used but now jobhunt-by-mobile is on the increase. Research suggests that digital natives especially are glued to their smartphones 24/7 and that 87% of job seekers use their mobile device as their main job search tool.

Recruitment by smartphone has been the way forward for savvy employers over the last year; apps such as JOB TODAY give employers especially in the service industries fast access to a talent pool that are only using their smartphone to search for jobs. Over the last year more than 200,000 employers have signed up to the JOB TODAY app across Europe, and in London alone thousands of vacancies have been filled.

Jobseekers are also looking for a streamlined easy-to-complete application process that they can fully use on their smartphone, including uploading their resumes that way. They expect easy, seamless digital interactions with you and the harder you make it, the more barriers there will be.

Job seekers are also comfortable using video as part of the application process; for instance through video interviews via Skype or Google Hangout, and they’re fully responsive to recruitment through social media. They curate their online footprint through their own websites and personal pages, and they’re savvy about what your online footprint says about you. Expect to be Googled at the very least.

  1. They are all ages and at all stages

We’ve all heard how millennials are starting to dominate the market but this is not the full picture. Yes, one third of US employees were born in the 1980s and 1990s and these people want lives, not jobs. Their motivations are different from the baby boomers that came before them. But the time of the baby boomer isn’t over –  although a minority, there are still many baby boomers left in the job market. A decade of economic downturn and changing mindsets has broken traditional career ladders and grown an army of entrepreneurially-minded people of all ages and skills, including baby boomers. People with thirty-plus years of valuable experience are made redundant or take voluntary redundancy and this has freed up a huge range of skills and enriched the job market. Your applicants are likely to be truly diverse. Take advantage of it.

  1. They have the measure of you

Your brand isn’t just the message you put out there via your website, communications and level of service. Your brand is not 100% within your control because part of your brand is how people perceive you – not just your business, but how you behave as an employer. If your brand is considered toxic or has had bad publicity, your job pool of great candidates will shrink. Old-fashioned recruitment methodologies like a slow response or complex application forms might turn many good candidates off. And a simple social media search can tell a candidate much about how you operate and what society thinks of you. Websites like Glassdoor allows staff to review you as an employer. This means that candidates can find out what really goes on behind closed doors, whether good or bad. But see this as an opportunity rather than a threat. Checking what staff are saying about you and really understanding how you’re perceived gives you the opportunity to improve and work to be a positive, attractive brand for potential candidates. Knowledge is power.

  1. What are you offering?

These days, what’s included in your job offer is on trial. Because job security is no longer a usual part of employment, you’ll find that staff are less loyal, and who can blame them? What job seekers are looking for in a career is changing. Good pay is always welcome, yes, but benefits such as flexible working, top training and development as well as opportunities for job enrichment such as secondment are valuable to the modern jobseeker. A positive, warm culture that values its staff is also attractive to potential candidates.  Take a look at what you might be able to offer these candidates who are looking for more than the usual decent pay and decent job.

  1. Candidates consider themselves individuals

The balance of power has shifted from business to candidate, and you need to recognise this. Many jobseekers consider themselves individuals rather than just a bundle of skills and knowledge that you can slot into your business like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Organisations that recognise candidates as individuals and so much more than their CV – with skills, experience, likes and dislikes, areas for development and zones of genius – are likely to engage the best candidates.  Many candidates – and some employers – believe the traditional CV is dead, and that digital communications, applications and programmes are the way forward. Some organisations are now creating candidate communities, virtual talent pools, with frequent communications to keep in touch with potential candidates who encourage engagement with employer brand and culture. If you can make your recruitment strategy more personal, more attractive and more engaging you’ll recruit staff who are right for your business.

The world of recruitment is changing dramatically. The process is far more candidate-centric than it has ever been before and if you can’t keep up, you won’t have access to fresh pools of talent, cash-saving recruitment processes and candidates with a different and positive mindset.