Curious about the experiences job seekers—and particularly job seekers from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds—are having these days? So were we. In partnership with our partners at Living Corporate, we wanted to understand what the job search process is like during the pandemic and what matters to job seekers. We hope our findings help employers better attract candidates and make the experience a positive one for all applicants.
One thing was abundantly clear in our survey findings: Evaluating candidate experience is more important than ever. With just 60% of people employed full- or part-time and 38% having had their hours cut or income reduced due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s not altogether surprising that 32% are currently searching for a new job.
Here’s what we learned.
- Diversity in the workplace is important to job seekers today.
Fully 79% of job seekers today say it is important that they work for a place that hires people from diverse backgrounds, with greater proportions among women and persons of color. In fact, over half of Black people (52%), fully 44% of Latinx and Asian people, and 41% of women say it is “very important.” Yet, a job-seeker’s first in-depth impression of a company leaves much to be desired in this area, with just one third (34%) of people saying they meet with a diverse set of interviewers.
- Opportunity isn’t equally distributed.
As if searching for the right job fit wasn’t stressful enough, some find that their race and/or gender impacts whether or not they are offered an interview when they do apply at a company. People of color, and Black women in particular, feel their gender and race hurts their odds at greater rates than others, particularly their white counterparts.
Specifically, nearly half of Black women (46%) see their race as hurting their interview odds and only six percent of white women feel this way. When it comes to their gender, 35% of Black women see their gender as mostly hurtful in this way compared to just 25% of white women. Just shy of half (49%) of Black men see their race as something that hurts their chances.
- Finding the right job is difficult.
Almost everyone is doing their research to some degree before they apply for a job (70% say they do a great deal or a good amount of research). For the majority of those on the job hunt (65%), the search is not going well. The top two biggest complaints are 1) finding jobs in the right location or that offer remote work and 2) finding jobs they want to apply for.
We see some differences in the experiences of women and men, though they aren’t the findings we might have expected. While greater shares of women are having difficulty finding jobs in the right location and knowing where to start their search, higher percentages of men report having difficulty successfully negotiating a job offer (26% of men vs. 15% of women), landing the initial job offer (41% of men vs. 36% of women), or even being invited for the interview (39% of men vs. 32% of women).
- Pay is tops for job searchers when deciding whether to stay or go to another employer.
Majorities cite higher pay as the most important factor when deciding to accept a new job offer. This is true across gender, race, age groups, and job levels.
When asked to choose from a list of important reasons to accept a new job outside of financial factors and career growth opportunities, women selected flexible working arrangements more than men (65% among women vs. 54% among men). Greater shares of women also want to believe in the company’s mission or values (48% of women vs. 42% of men) and hope to have a good fit with their potential new manager (46% of women vs. 42% of men).
To hear how SurveyMonkey’s CEO, Zander Lurie, thinks about DEI and the challenges ahead for companies, check out his episode of the Living Corporate podcast. And make sure to check out our new candidate experience survey template so you can be sure you’ve made the best experience for job applicants.
For full results, click through the interactive toplines below.
Read more about our polling methodology here.