August 2020 Survey: How Job Seeker Priorities Are Shifting

96% of respondents said they are open to taking a position that they have the skills for, but doesn’t exactly match their most recent job title 

As the months of COVID-19 go by, the number of professionals on the hunt for new work increases—and so does the time they spend without a job. So, how are job seekers adapting? We surveyed over 1,300 people on (from across the U.S.) to get a better understanding.*

Here’s the breakdown: 

The urgency and competition for job seekers to find work is increasing.

    • 59% of job seekers feel more urgency to find a job now than last month 
    • 74% of respondents answered that it is more competitive to find a job today than it was at the start of COVID 

Due to increases in urgency and competition to find work, people are more open to making trade-offs. 

  • 96% said they are open to taking a position that they have the skills for, but doesn’t exactly match their most recent job title 
  • Nearly half of job seekers (49%) are more open to contract or part-time work than they were before COVID
  • 60% said they would be more likely to take a position outside of their industry/area of expertise than before COVID

We are also seeing a shift in what job seekers want and need due to the pandemic.  

  • Respondents ranked healthcare (38%) as their most important job benefit, with remote work options (33%) ranking second compared to the rest of the list which included vacation time, sick pay, flexible hours, online education classes, meditation/wellness classes, and childcare assistance 
  • 62% of job seekers say if their job requires them to work onsite, they would like to see masks required in a limited capacity environment
  • Over half of respondents (55%) answered that it is important for companies to offer remote work options

What this means if you’re hiring right now  

Due to impacts of the pandemic, job seekers are increasingly flexible and open to new opportunities. As an employer, it is ok for you to adjust your hiring and onboarding strategies, too. Here are some helpful recruiting tips to consider: 

  • Offer contract/short-term job opportunities to new employees, knowing you can still land great people, and then reassess as the company needs change
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to candidates that have the skills you need, but may not have worked in your industry before
  • Understand that the path for recruiting new employees does not have to be “traditional” (it is nuanced right now) 
  • Talk with each employee to learn about their priorities (healthcare, remote work, childcare, flexible hours, etc.) because people have unique needs today

Need additional recruitment support as things continue to change? 

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Our team is dedicated to helping talent acquisition professionals reach qualified candidates with industry-leading tools and strategies. We provide resources and insights on the latest trends in job seeker activity, technology, and industry changes. Learn more about Ziprecruiter's solutions and get ready to take your recruiting strategy to the next level.

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