Survey results: what's on the minds of job seekers today?

Heather Payne

A few months ago, I was tasked with the responsibility of completing some market research to understand exactly what issues job seekers today think about. In true Gen Y style, and with the help of the marketing team, we came up with a really interesting medium for explaining the purpose of our research – and had a great response.  Nearly 700 job seekers took the time to answer what we called the “Dream Job Survey”.


The top three issues that lead to frustration among job seekers are:

1. The Hidden Job Market Continues to be Hidden

40.6% of job seekers say that finding a job is frustrating because everyone talks about the “hidden job market” but they don’t know how to uncover it and break in


2. Their Resume May Not Be Doing Them Favours

27.0% of job seekers say that finding a job is frustrating because they aren’t sure their resume is up to par


3. Mismatch of Skill Sets Available vs. Skill Sets Required

26.7% of job seekers aren’t sure of how to find jobs that suit their knowledge, skills and experience


When you consider that more than 75% of respondents were “prime working age” (between 25 and 54), the results are even more interesting – why aren’t these “prime” job seekers having an easier time finding work? I think the top concerns of job seekers tie in directly with two trends that I’m seeing related to HR right now. Employers Doing More With Less


First, I think that employers are depending more than ever on their personal and professional networks when they need to fill roles, as well as free services such as LinkedIn, due to contracted budgets and a desire to do more with less. This is creating a hidden job market that is more hidden than ever. The Knowledge Economy = Different Skill Sets


Second, I think we are seeing that there has been a major shift in terms of the skills required in the new knowledge economy.  I think job seekers may feel as though their resume is not up to par because their skill set is different from what employers are looking for today, and the reason they feel there aren’t a lot of jobs available that fit with their skill sets is because there aren’t. It’s just a hunch, though – what are your thoughts? Takeaways The takeaways? Networking, either online or through events like those run by organizations like the Brampton Board of Trade, is more important than ever, because it is probably going to land you your next job. 


Additionally, if you’re a job seeker, you may have no choice but to spend some time upgrading your skills. Try contacting your dream employers directly to ask what they’re looking for, and then do what’s necessary acquire those competencies.


Heather Payne was born and raised in Brampton, and graduated in 2009 from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. She has a super Gen Y-friendly role at Drake International, a Talent Management Solutions company that was founded in Winnipeg in 1951. 


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