- Career growth opportunities beat out a bigger salary and benefits for the first time in Jobvite's annual Job Seeker Nation report. The online poll of 1,504 full-time, part-time or job-hunting U.S. adults revealed that 61% look for career development opportunities when considering employment opportunities. Younger workers are more likely to prefer career development to more money, while the unemployed are slightly less likely to select career growth as a top priority, according to Jobvite's findings.
- The poll also found that 45% of job seekers said that it's become harder to find a job this year, despite low unemployment numbers. A majority of part-time workers in the survey said they're looking for full-time work, and about a quarter of job seekers are worried that their job will be automated within five years — up from 15% in 2017, the report showed.
- Among things that lead a candidate to drop of the hiring process are a recruiter's poor conversation skills and personal appearance. But rudeness to co-workers was the most likely to disqualify an employer, Jobvite said.
Compensation continues to be a top motivator for applicants, although studies are increasingly finding that workers will take a pay cut for more meaningful work or better benefits. But because findings vary, it may be wise for talent professionals to consider all of these factors when creating a strategic total rewards plan.
Offering competitive benefits, salaries and career growth opportunities is a tall order, but employers looking to improve talent attraction and retention may have to take a hard look at their offerings, especially in light of Jobvite's findings. The market has emboldened many workers to job hunt, and applicants are in a position to make requests: 60% of job seekers in the Jobvite survey reported being at least "somewhat comfortable" negotiating their salary, compared to 51% a year ago.
Talent professionals might consider how continuous career development check-ins and learning and development programs can help retain employees who desire a path forward. Though it can be difficult to find a program that satisfies workers' personal desires for growth while serving an employer's business goals, it's worth remembering that collaborative learning and self-guided learning resonates with talent.