Mismatched Expectations: Australian job seekers and employers want different things

With almost four in 10 Australians currently employed reporting they’re looking to change jobs in the next 12 months, employers may have an opportunity to attract more talent than ever before, while job seekers could have an influx of new roles to choose from. Indeed’s latest data reveals that while the impending wave of resignation executives feared has not come to fruition just yet, many Australians are already actively and casually looking for work. 

New research highlights the views, behaviours and preferences of Australian job seekers and employers when it comes to both taking the plunge and looking for a new job, and filling a role. Indeed’s Job Seeking and Recruiting Dilemmas survey asked job seekers and employers about some of the most common recruitment challenges. The findings revealed a disconnect between what job seekers and employers think should be included in job advertisements, as well as the perfect time during an interview process to reveal sensitive or personal information. It also uncovered some of the biggest turn-offs for both groups during the recruitment process. 

Show me the money

The inclusion of salary in a job ad has consistently remained a contentious topic. There is a drastic gap between job seekers expectations and reality when it comes to listing salaries. Whilst 65% of job seekers say it is important to include a role’s salary in a job ad, only 9% of employers say they’d disclose this in an advertisement. 

Whilst informative for all, the inclusion of salary is sought by almost 70% of employed job seekers compared to only 55% of their non-employed counterparts. From an employer’s perspective, it’s a balancing act. Nearly half (49%) of the employers who choose not to include salary say it’s to attract a candidate motivated by the role rather than pay, while on the other hand, 40% admit to omitting a figure in order to secure talent with the most cost-effective salary. Similarly, in highly competitive job markets, employers avoided advertising wages to ensure confidentiality between staff. 

The bump

Another dilemma the survey identified was conflicting opinions on when to reveal a pregnancy. While most parents look forward to sharing their pregnancy news with family and friends, many do not share this excitement towards potential employers. Only 33% of respondents said they would reveal a pregnancy during a first interview, and almost a quarter stated that they would never announce a pregnancy during the recruitment process. Despite this, four in five (78%) male employers stated they would always want this detail disclosed in the early stages of recruitment. 

Interview etiquette 

During interviews, employers need to be on their A-game just as much as candidates do. To impress top talent, interviewers should be engaged, provide timely feedback and be consistent in how they communicate about the role. Job seekers revealed that being forced to jump through numerous hoops during the application process was a big turn-off, though Baby Boomers (67%) and Gen X (54%) were more likely to be discouraged by this than younger job seekers. 

For job seekers, employers noted that being on time, enthusiastic, prepared, positive and presentable was necessary to impress. 61% of employers are turned off by a lack of enthusiasm from the candidate, while just over half are unimpressed by tardiness, a lack of preparation, and inconsistencies between a candidate’s CV and how they present at the interview. 

However, the survey revealed that the same can be said for employers – most job seekers (66%) are put off when interviewers are rude, distracted or disinterested during interviews, while 55% would like more regular communication and feedback throughout the interview process. 

With a busy period for recruitment on the horizon, Australian job seekers and employers should consider how they might align their preferences to streamline the recruitment process, particularly when it comes to sharing information such as salary, pregnancy and flexible work conditions. Employers should consider the preferences of job seekers to ensure they are attracting interested, well-qualified candidates. When it comes to interviewing, the best practice by both employers and job seekers is to be engaged, enthusiastic and honest. A job you love and a candidate who fits your business is out there.

Methodology: Indeed’s Job Seeking and Recruiting Dilemmas Survey was conducted by YouGov between 2-12 September 2021, surveying 2,033 working  age Australians (aged between 18-69) who are currently in full or part-time employment or  actively looking for work. The sample included 1,242 respondents who identified as job seekers and 511 respondents who identified as employers with recruitment responsibilities. 

Age, gender and location quotas were applied to the overall sample and following the completion of the survey, the data was weighted by age, gender and location to reflect the latest ABS Australian working age population estimates.  

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