Digging deeper into jobseeker practices

Jobseeking is not easy. Applicants are overloaded with information and must frequently navigate several communication channels at once if they want to succeed. But even with the breadth of available digital channels - and regardless of how smooth the process is - jobseeker needs are still not being met. The demand is high for easily accessible information on career sites, trustworthy job ads, and employee sales pitches.

A guiding star

Jobseekers use the whole breadth of digital channels to explore new opportunities. However, job ads are often the first contact they’ll have with your company, so they should work as a sales pitch: a way to spark the interest of the reader and convince them to keep going.

Not all channels are made equal, at least not where trust is concerned (as seen in the graph below). There is a difference, for example, between seeing an ad on Instagram, where the format is quite limited, and the corporate website, where the content has endless possibilities. While Instagram might be an innovative way to get attention, the corporate website has a higher degree of trust, and this is where the core information should be found.

To what extent do you agree with the statement that a company's channels are trustworthy?

To what extend do you consider the following channels trustworthy

Trustworthy ads and a smooth process

When you misrepresent a role, you’re only wasting time – your own and your applicant’s. This was an issue that came up time and time again during our interviews. Jobseekers talked at length about ads where companies were looking for people with impossible skillsets, or where the actual job description didn’t match with the job the person was eventually hired to perform. Being clear about the recruitment process and what is actually required of applicants is a must.

Other obstacles that came up during our research were badly designed websites, mandatory application forms with exact graduation dates, or the fact that company’s website didn’t show any vacancies. These were just a few of the examples that were mentioned as reasons to continue the job search somewhere else instead. The need for a smooth digital journey between channels is real, and this is reflected in jobseeker behaviour.

The corporate website and LinkedIn, top information sources

The corporate website and LinkedIn still dominate. Compared to last year, the top 3 recruitment channels stayed the same: the corporate website, LinkedIn, and friends and personal contacts were ranked as the main source of information for new job opportunities. The corporate website and LinkedIn were also ranked as the most trustworthy channels.

When some employers start offering more convenient solutions, candidates will learn to expect the same from others. Applications via email, uploading CVs through the company’s website, and a form application on the corporate website were chosen as preferred ways to apply.

Top five preferred sources when looking for a job:

  1. Corporate website
  2. LinkedIn
  3. Friends or personal contacts
  4. Recruitment agencies
  5. Googling a job title

Top five preferred ways of applying for a job:

  1. By email
  2. By uploading your CV to the company's website
  3. By filling in a form on the company's website
  4. Easy application without CV
  5. Via LinkedIn, logging in with your account

There and back again - from job ads to Careers pages

When it comes to convincing candidates to move away from an existing role, convincing sales pitches are the key – or so say our respondents. When jobseekers shared their job-hunting experiences, their descriptions revealed the user journey between communication channels. From a job ad on LinkedIn, to the company’s website, and to other digital channels, candidates often find themselves navigating a web of interlinked platforms. Nevertheless, the company’s website still had the biggest role in convincing potential candidates to apply, which means there is increasing pressure to have strong careers pages in place.

Careers and beyond

As the corporate website are often the main information source, about us and careers information are most often visited content by the jobseekers outside of job ads. Other information such as sustainability are visited frequently as well, as can be seen in the graph below.

The corporate website is the main attraction, but jobseekers do not limit themselves to their designated section. Besides job ads, they are often interested in getting an idea about the company and what it’s like to work there, and their most frequently visited sections are the About us and Careers. Other sections, such as Sustainability, are also frequent stops, as can be seen in the graph below.

When assessing a potential employer, how often do you visit the following website sections?

When assessing potential employer, how often do you visit the following website sections

Mobile applications: on the rise, but not yet trusted

Approximately 25% of browsing is done on mobile, but, according to our respondents, job applications are often filled in and sent using a computer. A few jobseekers mentioned that they don’t yet trust mobile applications, the exception being uncomplicated designs e.g. a simple “Apply with LinkedIn” button.

Applicants might sometimes check job ads on the way home from work or studies, so developing on-the-go application options could help reach those that might not have otherwise had the time or interest to send an application in.

Our sources

This year, our survey collected answers from 261 respondents representing 30 countries, such as Sweden, the UK, Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark. 10 respondents were from outside of Europe.

Our survey respondents provided a good mix of active and passive jobseekers. 25% of the respondents were actively looking for job opportunities and 50% of the respondents said that they were keeping their eyes open for future endeavours.

How old are you?

How old are you

Are you currently jobseeking?

Are you currently jobseeking

This year, we also interviewed 13 passive and active jobseekers, ranging from students to people who were happy with their current job. Interviewees were from Sweden, Germany, Austria, Finland, France, and Denmark, and between the ages of 26 and 41. Additionally, we interviewed one specialist working for governmental job centre who worked with unemployed jobseekers and helped them find relevant career possibilities.