Canadian HR Reporter
Jun 7, 2019

‘Perks’ most popular query by jobseekers: Report

recruitment
Ethics, bullying, harassment also top searches for work-related concerns

Knowing what jobseekers are looking for in their job search can help employers with recruitment and employer branding initiatives.

So employers might be interested to know that when it comes to the top online searches by Canadians in conjunction with “at work” and “in the workplace,” “perks” is the most popular query, at 8,500 per month, according to a report by SEMrush, which sells online visibility and marketing analytics software subscriptions.

And when it comes to the corporate perks topping wish lists, corporate and health benefit plans win out; searches for benefit plans increased by 129 per cent from 2016 to 2019.

Millennials are looking for more than just a salary, according to Olga Andrienko, head of global marketing at SEMrush in Boston.

“They’re looking for job perks and… it’s just really obvious that people started being interested in something extra… work-life balance is definitely something that they really want,” she said.

“There are a lot of companies with mission statements and with values, and a lot of people are now looking and searching for jobs that would resonate somehow with them.”

Culture is important to new graduates, meaning they want to know: “What is the workplace like? Is it a friendly, warm, welcoming environment?” said Mary Barroll, president of Talent Egg in Toronto, a job site and online career resource for students and recent graduates.

“They're interested in seeing the kind of corporate social responsibility initiatives that that organization might be pursuing. What do they stand for in terms of their core values as an organization? And do they align with their own core values?”

People coming out of school are career-focused, so they’re looking at the kind of career path they could potentially have at an organization, she said.

“They're looking for experience that can provide them with more marketable skills. And so they look for organizations that provide some ongoing professional development and training within their organization. It's kind of a flip to what I think it was commonly understood to be what is influencing young jobseekers — at least the ones that are educating themselves and are looking for meaningful careers. They are very much about building their skill levels.”

But there’s a noteworthy trend, said the report, as the number of searches for “full-time job” increased by 53 per cent from 2016 to 2019. in the past three years.

“Canadians are really looking for stability more and more, because the searches for ‘full-time job’ has increased significantly to over 50 per cent in the last three years, and then the searches for ‘part-time job’ or ‘internship’ — they all decrease,” said Andrienko.

Other work-related concerns are ethics (3,500), bullying (3,100), harassment (2,800) and diversity (1,100), according to the report, which delved into monthly online searches.

The first two could be because of greater media coverage, said Andrienko.

“People who even had the issues, they were not really speaking about it before, and then they start opening up. So, it's just like a snowball effect. And more people who even don't have the issue, they’re still interested in what's happening around them.”

As for the most popular job sites with Canadian jobseekers, Indeed.ca was the easy winner at 4.7 million visits per month, followed by Glassdoor.ca (3.2 million) and Jobbank.gc.ca (1.5 million).

When it comes to placing ads, few employers are doing it, she said.

“The market is really organic. And that means that (employers are) actually more investing the time and money into referrals or… reputation management, and less on advertising,” she said. “. The space is not saturated. So whoever takes that market — with the increasing and massive searches that are growing — they have a really good opportunity to get a majority of the audience.”

Online and social media are the top ways graduates find jobs, said Barroll.

“The job-board idea is certainly one that still resonates. And that's still their number 1 place that they go to to look for work. But, increasingly we can see the numbers of the social media platforms going up as well.”

“Social media is a very key component of your employer branding strategy and your talent attraction strategy, particularly for young people,” she said, citing Instagram as an example.

People are constantly seeking out jobs on their mobile phones; these searches take up 55 per cent of share across employment sites, said SEMrush.

But when it comes to responding to or applying for a job, applicants prefer to use email, said Barroll.

“I found that a little surprising, but I guess it's because nobody's quite comfortable with applying from their phones. So, that's still a space where young people will go first, in terms of being able to learn about specific roles that would be sent to them, as opposed to going and doing a search.”

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