Reviewing Careerbuilder’s Annual Surveys of Job Seekers

I was reading Careerbuilder’s report, “How to Rethink the Candidate Experience and Make Better Hires,” this week and saw some interesting things. In today’s post I will go over a few of the things…

1. More candidates (74%) want to see salary than any other feature in a job posting.

Not a big surprise, but we continue to ignore this as recruiters. I think we should disclose this information and may be interested in my earlier post called “Salary Transparency: The Key to Better Applicants?

2. 81% of applicants want to know the contact information of the person that posted the job; and before applying, 72% want to talk to a recruiter or hiring manager.

We all know this is just not possible due to not being practical. With the number of applicants and the volume of requisitions we handle…we just could not talk to 72% of the people thinking about applying.

What this does show is a severe lack of the right information being given. 76% said they wonder what would my day-to-day job be? Obviously, our job descriptions are not truly giving a very good picture of what the day-to-day job would be…or this would not be one of the top ranked question for job seekers. 57% want to know which skill sets are employers are willing and not willing to negotiate on. Again, the job descriptions we are all posting are not cutting it. This information is not clear.

We need to get more information into the potential applicants’ hands. We need not only better job descriptions and requirements…but also additional information like videos, pictures, and employee testimonials available. Careerbuilder has a study that shows 31% want to see videos and photos of the company environment (only slightly less than 35% who said they wanted details on how the company provides work-life balance). 46% said they wanted to see employee ratings (which are probably coming from…but you could do a lot by providing your own employee testimonial video and text on your website.

This is important, because 37% of all candidates said that if they can’t find the info they need on the company that they will just move on to the next company or job listing.

4. Job seekers say 4 out of 10 (38%) of their applications never receive a response or any type of communication. Also, Job seekers’ biggest frustration: Employers don’t respond to them (45%).

Really…how is this still a thing? I wrote last year a post call, “Why Does Black Holes Still Exist in Candidate Experience?” With modern ATS, all you have to do is check the box next to the names and send a mass-email. There is no excuse for this. Job seekers, I humbly apologize for my profession.

5. Referring to Careerbuilder’s study, one in five candidates said they are not willing to complete an application that takes them 20 minutes or more, and 76 percent want to know how long it will take them to finish an application before it starts.

Candidates are not willing to do as much as last year and the market is now very much a job-seekers market. We can not longer have employer-market and recession-market mindsets. Don’t expect people to be grateful to just have a job and if looking for a job, to be desperate enough to put up with the crap anymore. Last year I wrote about this in “Why We Must Simply the Job Application Process.”

However, only 31 percent of employers claim to have tried applying to one of their company’s open jobs to see what the process is like.

Everyone needs to do this today. Apply to one of your own jobs and see how bad (or good) it is. Did the system time out and you have to start over? Did it take an hour to apply? How good was the resume parsing or did you have to fill it all in manually?

You should know what your applicants have to go through just to express interest. Then if this is combined with never getting a response, what a slap in the face and a show of total disrespect.


From what I read and remember from last year, the concerns are much the same as last year…but job seekers are willing to put up with less and are demanding better.  We have almost an entire year to try to improve the situation. I would love to see some improvement in next year’s reports.


See this post and more at


Eric Putkonen is a public speaker / presenter and he is passionate about recruiting / talent acquisition & retention, culture & employment brand, engagement, and leadership (which affects all of the prior).

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