iHire havepublished a new research report uncovering job seekers’ preferences when searching for work and offering employers insights into how to recruit more efficiently. The What Candidates Want: 2023 Job Seeker Report details the results of iHire’s survey of a Qualtrics panel comprising 600 working professionals in all industries across the United States. The full report can be downloaded here: https://go.ihire.com/ct59n.

iHire’s survey found:

  • Candidates want employers to communicate openly and honestly throughout the recruitment process.5 per cent of respondents want employers to acknowledge they’ve received their application after applying for a job online, and 81.8 per cent want employers to inform them if they are disqualified from a job. Moreover, 38.7 per cent of candidates said they would be less likely to interact with a brand in the future if they apply for a job and don’t hear back from the company.


  • Candidates want to know salary ranges – and a lack of pay transparency can be a dealbreaker.5 per cent of candidates would be more likely to apply for a job if the salary was listed in the ad, while 44.7 per cent said they would not apply if the salary was not specified.


  • Candidates want some form of in-person work, but remote work options remain essential.67.8 per cent of respondents preferred either an in-person work environment (36.3 per cent) or hybrid arrangement (31.5 per cent). However, remote work was still a “must-have” for many job seekers: 42.7 per cent of candidates said remote work was one of the most important aspects of their job search, and 27.2 per cent said they wouldn’t bother applying for a job if remote work was not an option.


  • Candidates want employers to embrace fair, unbiased hiring practices.Although only 16.8 per cent of respondents said a company’s commitment to DE&I was among the most important aspects of their job search, 41.7 per cent said they would be more likely to apply for a job if they knew the employer used “blind” or “anonymous” recruitment tools to reduce bias and increase diversity hiring.


  • Candidates want employers to value their time, especially if they are putting in the work.While 62.6 per cent of candidates want to spend less than 20 minutes on an online application, they are making an effort to get in front of employers: 57.7 per cent customize their resume for the position they’re applying for “always” or “most of the time,” and 55.7 per cent include a cover letter “always” or “most of the time” even if it’s not required. Additionally, 74.5 per cent of candidates follow up on their applications “always” or “most of the time.”


  • Candidates want employment options beyond traditional full-time roles, particularly part-time jobs.3 per cent of respondents were interested in part-time work, compared to 51.7 per cent interested in full-time opportunities. A portion of candidates were also looking for temporary jobs (17.8 per cent), gig work (17.7 per cent), and seasonal jobs (17.3 per cent).


  • Candidates want to work for a company with a positive employer brand – and they want proof.5 per cent of candidates said a company’s reputation as a good place to work was one the most important factors in their job search, while 76.0 per cent research the hiring company before applying for a job “always” or “most of the time.” Of those who do their research, 65.7 per cent said they want to read employee reviews/testimonials to gauge what it’s really like to work for the company.


“Our research underscores the importance of a candidate-centric approach to hiring, as themes such as transparency, communication, flexibility, equity, and empathy appeared throughout survey responses,” said Steve Flook, iHire’s president and CEO. “We found it fascinating that nearly 40 per cent of job seekers would be less likely to interact with a brand if they received a poor candidate experience. Employers who treat applicants well will not only have a competitive edge when it comes to recruiting, but also in their overall success as a business.”

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