Job Seeker Journey Part 3: How Long Does it Take for Australians to Find a New Job?

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Welcome to part three of Indeed’s Job Seeker Journey series, where we explore the job seeking journey for the average Aussie. In the last couple of months, we’ve discussed what motivates Australians to look for new jobs and the tools they use. This month, we’ll take a closer look at how long the average job search lasts and what recruiters can do to help fill their open roles faster. With 37% of job seekers not knowing what role they’re searching for when looking, the job search journey can be frustrating and emotional for candidates. In fact, according to the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory, career events have the biggest impact on stress and happiness after family and health events. So, for Australians looking to start their search for a new job, how long can they anticipate spending looking for the right role?

How long does the average job search last for Australians?

While there are many factors that play into how long it can take for Australian job seekers to find a new role, the average job search lasts 82 days. This can, however, differ based on age. For example, Gen Y job hunters are the most successful in terms of finding their next job quickly, with 38% finding a role within one month of launching their job search. On the other hand, only 30% of Gen X and 25% of Baby Boomers found their next job within a month.

Averages: 67 days for Gen Y seekers to get a job; 98 days for Gen X; and 100 days for Baby Boomers

Does a targeted approach to job search influence the time it takes to find a new role?

While some job seekers have a strong idea of what they’d like their next role to be, more than a third (37%) admitted to having little idea of what they’re searching for. This is particularly high for Gen Y job seekers, 43% of whom took an untargeted approach during their job search. Baby Boomers on the other hand were the most targeted during their job search, with 39% searching for a distinct role in a specific industry or company.

Average job search

6% are targeted in their search; 19% are very specific; 38% are somewhat specific; 29% have some idea; 8% have no idea what they’re looking for

With so many Millennials employing an untargeted approach when applying for new jobs, it may be surprising that it took them more than two weeks less than the average job search to find a new role. However, their willingness to try out different opportunities before committing to a specific career path most probably aided in their ability to find a job quicker. Baby Boomers on the other hand, seem to be more decisive and selective in their job search and therefore generally wait longer to find the right role—about a month longer than the average.

Are Australians missing out on opportunities?

Another factor that could lengthen the average job search for Aussies is the fear of missing out on job opportunities. In fact, 78% of job seekers felt like they have missed out on a job opportunity at some stage in their lives, with 31% believing it was because they didn’t hear about the role in time.

Reasons people in Australia missed a job opportunity

31% didn’t hear about the job opportunity in time; 19% had already accepted another offer; 14% weren’t looking where the job was posted; 13% didn’t understand the job description; 12% wasn’t sure what they were looking for; 10% weren’t looking in the city the job was posted; 8% didn’t send a cover letter; 8% didn’t send a resume; 15% didn’t know; 14% none of the above; 8% never missed out on a job opportunity

The fear of missing out on job opportunities could cause a longer than anticipated job search, especially when candidates feel they aren’t seeing all the roles out there. When asked if they felt they were aware of all job opportunities during their last search, only 8% were confident that they had been. As a result, when job seekers were finally made aware of the ideal role they missed out on, 20% had to stay in an unsatisfactory role, 19% were feeling less motivated and 17% regretted not expanding their job search.

What does this mean for employers and recruiters?

With the average job search lasting about 82 days, it may seem difficult to fill your open roles as quickly as possible. However, it’s important to remember that one possible factor for a lengthy job search is that job seekers simply don’t know what they’re looking for during their search. As a result, employers and recruiters can take measures to help put their jobs in front of the right candidates—even if the candidates are unsure. For example, ensure your job descriptions and titles are aligned with what potential job seekers would search for. Try to stay away from using internal jargon or descriptions that wouldn’t relate to anyone outside of your organisation.

The more relatable your job descriptions and titles are to people who could fit the role, the more likely you can fill it quicker. You can learn more about how your job description can get you closer to hiring the right candidate in this article. Another way to help expedite the hiring process is using Indeed Resume to search for and find suitable candidates. With Indeed Resume, you’ll have access to over 150 million resumes worldwide, and can target your search to help bring you closer to candidates quicker. As recruiters and employers, it’s important to help bridge the gap between job seekers who may be right for the job but don’t know what they’re looking for, and your organisation. Keen to know more? Download Job Hunters: The Complete Guide to read the full report.

Methodology: Indeed partnered with Lonergan Research to survey 1,371 Australian workers in July 2018.

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