How the information age is affecting the job hunt

Thanks to the Internet and Google, the accessibility of information has vastly increased peoples’ appetite for knowledge. Google processes 40,000 search queries per second as we seek answers to endless questions, gathering information to arm ourselves with more knowledge.

The advent of the information age has led to a major shift in human behaviour. We don’t go to a restaurant without knowing first what’s on the menu, we don’t shop for a car without knowing its safety rating and we don’t apply for jobs without first researching the potential employer.

Recent research conducted by SEEK shows that only 15% of New Zealanders don’t do due diligence on the organisations they could potentially work for. Leaving 85% of job-seekers with an appetite for more information than what’s provided in a job ad or position description. Encouragingly, this shows a candidate’s desire to make more educated, long-term career choices. When a candidate is considering a new job, it’s not just the role that comes into the decision-making process, but also the company itself, particularly its vision, values, culture and reputation.

Cultural fit and alignment plays a crucial role in this desire for more information. Candidates are no longer interested in just the development opportunities a new role may offer, they’re also judging every facet of working for a particular organisation. From benefits and diversity to flexibility options, maternity policy and culture, all components make up the picture of what it’s like to work for a particular organisation.

How are candidates accessing company info?

Much of the research into working for a particular company is done before a candidate even interviews for a role. Nearly two thirds of New Zealanders will visit the organisation’s website to learn more about the business, 51% will utilise their network of friends and family to gather more information and 35% will visit online company review sites to see what previous employees’ experiences have been. Interestingly, males are more likely to use online review sites than females, but women are more likely to utilise their business network to gather intel.

While the majority of organisations have their website up to scratch, a new consideration is effectively managing its profile within online employment review sites. While companies can’t control the reviews, it presents an opportunity to share more about the organisation and profile some of the selling points. As the job market participates more and more in user-generated content, sharing their work experiences, so too does the need for companies to be part of the conversation. And the more the candidate and organisations’ expectations align, the more productive and positive the hiring outcome can be for both parties.

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