Jobvite recently released its Recruiter Nation Report 2016, offering insight into the state of social recruiting and the current job market. The data tells two stories: What recruiters need to know and what job seekers need to know today. Let’s take a deep dive into the report findings and what they mean to you.

Before we explore data points, it’s always important to get the context around the information being presented. In the case of a report, we’re talking about the methodology. To gather the data below, Jobvite surveyed 1,600 HR and recruiting professionals in a variety of industries, all within the U.S.

Now, onto the facts.

The Current Job Market: What Recruiters Need to Know

Recruiters need quality talent today more than ever. Despite the very possibility (and, in some cases, reality) of automation changing the face of the workforce, only a handful of respondents—10 percent—said their company would embrace automation in the next three years. Interestingly, more than three quarters of respondents said they had increased hiring, and 86 percent said they didn’t expect layoffs for the next year.

What’s it mean? Recruiting is increasingly competitive, with industries like hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare, and technology leading the charge. Here are more key insights into what recruiters need to know about the state of the job market:

  • Negotiating salary is normal. According to more than half of the recruiters Jobvite polled, candidates are more likely to ask for higher pay than they were just one year ago. Not surprisingly, 43 percent of job seekers said they left a position in the last year because of concerns about compensation. Bottom line? Have the discussion.
  • Don’t go rogue on benefits. Because of the talent shortage, enticing top talent is more important than ever. How? Yes, workplace culture is uber-important, but so are old fashioned benefits. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said dental and medical coverage was the most attractive benefit, and 65 percent cited a 401K. Interestingly, but not at all surprisingly, 44 percent of respondents indicated a casual dress code and workplace flexibility had strong appeal, too.
  • Internal hires and referrals win. Not surprisingly, the best talent comes from within: Internal hires (38 percent) and employee referrals (34 percent).
  • Don’t forget to leverage social. Most recruiters—87 percent, to be exact—go to LinkedIn to vet potential candidates. They also frequent other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter (see Figure 1 for a full breakdown). Don’t forget, though, that digital is a two-way street—59 percent of job seekers research the culture of potential employers before saying yes to an interview. If your company has a blasé presence in the social media space, or worse, isn’t using social at all, that sends a message to candidates, whether intentional or not.

 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016

Figure 1. Source: Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016

The Current Job Market: What Job Seekers Need to Know

It’s a good time to be a job seeker; as businesses become more tech savvy and leverage more digital tools to get ahead of the competition, they need more—and different typesof—talent to support those efforts. This fact is evidenced by Jobvite’s projection that recruiters are facing a talent shortage—something I wrote about in more detail here (Read: The Talent Recruitment Reality: A Good Candidate is Hard to Find). Better news? Sixty-nine percent of recruiters reported their company had increased hiring efforts within the last twelve months, and many—just over two-thirds—aren’t opposed to increasing salary offers to land the right candidate.

Here are other highlights from the report relevant to job seekers:

  • Use social wisely. If you’re apt to overshare on your social feed or tend to misspell a word or use inappropriate photos (or language), hear this: Recruiters are watching, and they don’t like it. A whopping 72 percent of recruiters said they dislike typos on social, a higher percentage even than those who said they didn’t care for pictures of alcohol consumption (42 percent). Selfies are still safe, though, as they only turn off 18 percent of those polled—a figure actually down from 2015. Be careful, though—41 percent of recruiters said seeing a photo of a candidate before an in-person meeting can affect their impression.
  • Your attitude and appearance matter. Recruiters care about your appearance, with 46 percent reporting that how a candidate dresses can impact the results of a first interview. If you’re in real estate or finance especially, dressing too casually can be a deal killer, almost 80 percent of the time. Your attitude also counts. Some 78 percent of those polled said enthusiasm was the most important factor in deciding whether to hire a candidate post-interview—shockingly, a figure slightly higher than that for “command of requirements.”
  • Tell the truth. A whopping 75 percent of respondents reported they see job seekers regularly beef up their prior work experience. They’re on the lookout for that and other infractions such as inflating a salary, fudging the time at a previous job, and more (see Figure 2 for a full breakdown.)

 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016

Figure 2. Source: Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016

What’s Next?

Can you relate to any of the data points above, either as a job seeker or as a recruiter? What does the state of the job market look like from your vantage point? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Additional Resources on This Topic:

Americans Uncertain About the Future of Work, 2016 Jobvite Job Seeker Study Shows
2016 Job Seeker Nation Study Reports on the Future of Work
Marketing (and Showcasing) Your Corporate Culture During Recruitment

This article was first published on Work Connect Blog.

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