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Grow Your Business Your Team

Information Is Power: Job Candidates Do Their Homework When Applying for Work

Information Is Power: Job Candidates Do Their Homework When Applying for Work
Credit: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Job candidates are no longer comfortable applying for a job knowing very little about the position they are seeking, new research finds.

A study from the outsourcing firm ManpowerGroup Solutions revealed that today's job seekers have access to more information than ever about a company and a position in the early stages of the job search process.

The research shows that compensation and the type of work they will be performing are the two most desired pieces of information prospective candidates want to know before even sending their resumes in for a job opening.

"Easy access to information has changed the way individuals find jobs and jobs find individuals," said Jim McCoy, vice president and global practice leader for ManpowerGroup Solutions, in a statement. "As organizations across the globe continue to report difficulties filling roles, understanding candidate preferences is critical. Candidates worldwide want to be able to visualize themselves in an organization."

The study shows that on average, 45 percent of candidates in the U.S. have information about compensation prior to completing the application process. That's far less, however, than job seekers in Asia. Nearly three-quarters of candidates in Japan and 81 percent in China know how much a position pays before applying. [Trying to attract top talent? Here's the perk you should offer]

"Earlier and more complete disclosure of compensation information may also increase recruiting efficiency, as candidates can remove themselves from consideration when one of their primary motivators for career decisions and job switching does not meet their expectations," the study's authors wrote.

The research found that schedule flexibility and benefit options are two other areas job candidates spend time researching before applying for a job. More than 40 percent of job candidates in the U.S. said they have information on the company's benefits before submitting an application.

Company mission, corporate brand, culture and commitment to corporate social responsibility are among the other top issues job candidates want to know about when applying for a job.

"It's time for employers to move beyond the final interview disclosure to being upfront and open and own the conversation," McCoy said.

ManpowerGroup Solutions offers several tips to attract today's knowledge-seeking job candidates:

  1. Beef up your website. The first place job candidates turn to when researching a job they are considering applying for is a company website. It is important that employers have current and up-to-date information on their websites. This helps build their brand and increase access to the information candidates are seeking.
  2. Be willing to share more. Knowing that job candidates have higher expectations about the information they are privy to before applying for a job, it is up to employers to be upfront with that information. While typically these types of details are not disclosed until later on in the job search process, employers should consider sharing more information early on. This includes more transparency around compensation.
  3. Know what candidates are saying. It is critical employers have a clear understanding of how they are perceived by job candidates. This means monitoring social media and employer review sites, such as Glassdoor.

"As the information playing field becomes more level, employers have the opportunity to transform candidate information into knowledge by using the practical, emotional and interactive components that encourage dialogue, engagement and a more positive and engaging experience for candidates," the study's authors wrote. "Organizations should seek to harness the power of the well-informed candidate as a competitive advantage in today’s global search for the best talent."

The study was based on surveys of nearly 14,000 employees worldwide, including 1,384 in the U.S.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.