The job applicant/HR disconnect

The results of a 2016 Future Workplace survey given to 4,347 job seekers and 129 HR professionals results are in. The findings cited in “The Active Job Seeker Dilemma” are interesting and challenging for HR professionals and job applicants alike:

Being “passive” beats being “active” when it comes to job searches
Here, passive means you aren’t in immediate need of a job. According to Future Workplace, 80% of HR professionals prefer prospective employees who they feel they are “recruiting” out of another job – those open to new opportunities if the offer is right. The perception is that they have more experience (44% of the HR professionals believed this); they possess valuable skills (44%) and they are serious about their careers (42%). So don’t quit before looking, is the message. You lose points for hunting for a job on your own time and dime.

Adaptability trumps “leadership skills”
First the desired skill all agree on: effective communication tops the list of the skills both employers and employees would identify as most important. However, Future Workplace reports that secondarily employers are seeking candidates “with the ability to adapt to change and make sense of ambiguity,” followed by “being results driven and goal-oriented.” However, employees think it best, after mentioning their superb communication skills, their strong “leadership ability, in-person collaboration and teamwork skills.” Great melody but wrong song.

Save the public praise; show us the money
We now know what HR professionals want, but what do applicants want? Even Millennials aren’t drinking the company Kool-Aid that recognition before peers is the finest recruitment lure or retention tool. While that’s the number one preference and practice of the HR professionals surveyed, the applicant respondents said they wanted bonuses (80%) and promotions (70%). HR offered those secondarily, at 68% and 59%, respectively.

Tick tock – enough or not enough personal time?
In a related study completed by and CareerArc with 116 HR professionals and 1087 professionals in other fields, the topic was “workplace flexibility.”
Findings included this fact that 67% of employers felt that their employees had a satisfactory work/life schedule, yet almost half (45%) of employees felt they lacked sufficient time each week to do personal activities. A related finding: one in five employees surveyed spent over 20 hours working outside of the office on their personal time per week. While 75% of employees felt that workplace flexibility was a top benefit to offer, only 50% of HR professionals felt the same.

Matching the right candidate with the right opportunity is the number one goal of employers and employees alike, but employment researchers say that differing mindsets remains the biggest challenge to successful recruitment and retention.

About Jody Glynn Patrick

Jody is President of Glynn Patrick & Associates, which provides management consulting, executive coaching and strategic planning services. She is Publisher Emeritus of In Business magazine, which she published for 17 years. Selected as the “U.S. Business Journalist of the Year” in 2007 in Washington, DC, by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Jody has been a business reporter, editor, radio talk show host , and has won other state and national journalism awards. At the same time, she has helped corporate clients grow their businesses -- the basis for her practical coaching advice here. She also was the 2005 Athena Award recipient for her leadership role in mentoring other professional women. Jody will be talking with you weekly on TDS’ blog to share her insights and tips from the C-Suite perspective. Follow on G+.

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