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Job Seeker Perceptions

Job Seeker Perceptions

Hiring software company Employ, Inc. has published the 2024 Job Seeker Nation Report, providing a data-driven look into the complexity of job seeker realities, preferences for workplace flexibility, experiences during the job search process, and recruiter-candidate interactions.

The 2024 Job Seeker Nation Report gathered responses from a random sample of 1,513 U.S. full-time and part-time workers and those looking for work across 20 industries. Representation across race, gender, region and generation were part of the sample characteristics.

The data revealed surprising insights into worker satisfaction and motivations in searching for new roles. Overwhelmingly, 79% of American workers are satisfied with their current jobs, and only 10% report that they are dissatisfied. Despite this, 86% are at least somewhat open to other job opportunities, including 46% who are very open.

This data reveals that candidates are feeling confident in the current labor market, with 50% of active job seekers indicating that finding a job is easy and 56% believing that the current job market favors candidates. Companies would be wise to respond to these perceptions by focusing on areas within talent acquisition that can speed the hiring process, better nurture candidates, and reinforce worker priorities.

For employers today, understanding job seeker mindset, motivations, and behavior is critical to connecting with candidates more effectively and staying competitive in a tight labor market. As companies move further into 2024, they should keep candidates and job seekers central to their recruiting strategies and remove roadblocks that hamper their interactions with candidates.

Additional findings from the report:

Motivations for Leaving Jobs

  • Beyond compensation, active job seekers are primarily motivated by career advancement (52%) and greater work flexibility or remote work opportunities (49%). 
  • Twenty-four percent of workers have left a job within the first 90 days of starting a new role because of poor company culture (47%), disapproval/distrust of company leadership (31%), and limited career advancement (28%).
  • The importance of remote work in whether to accept or reject a job offer remains foundational with 66% of workers indicating this is at least somewhat important in their decision-making process.

Experiences During the Job Search Process

  • Twenty-four percent of workers are using AI to search for new jobs with 68% indicating using AI to find or match with relevant job listings and 58% writing or reviewing resumes.
  • More than one-third of job seekers (39%) would abandon an application if it takes too long, and 78% of workers expect the job application to take less than 30 minutes.
  • The most common ways job seekers apply include Indeed Quick Apply (32%), the company website (24%), and direct resume submission to an individual at the company (18%).

Recruiter Candidate Interactions and Experiences:

  • Top factors leading to a positive candidate experience include great communication from a recruiter, including prompt feedback and follow-ups (55%), an easy job application process (53%), easy-to-schedule interviews (50%), and a short hiring process (43%).
  • More than half of candidates (59%) expect to get an interview after submitting their resume, and more than a third of job seekers (36%) believe it will take no more than five applications before they are hired for a new role.
  • If they are not selected for a role, job seekers prefer to get a personal email from the recruiter (42%) or an automated email from the employer (26%). Half of workers believe it should take no more than three days to learn they were not selected.

“The robust hiring environment continues to challenge organizations and their recruiting teams as they look to connect the right candidates with the right opportunities,” said Lucy Zarlengo, Chief Marketing Officer at Employ. “The job seeker perceptions revealed in this report should be used to empower hiring teams to reflect on and identify any gaps that companies face to overcome short-term challenges and embrace long-term success throughout the recruiting lifecycle.”