Job Seekers are “Shopping” for Jobs – Tips for Recruiters to Make a “Sale”

Let’s say you just bought some new shoes online. You couldn’t try them on. You couldn’t feel the quality. So you did some research.

To start, you read up on the reviews. Did the average reviewer report they run true to size? Did others report that they run wide? Did people comments about how these shoes look even better in person than they appear online? Then you checked to see if there were other sites where you could find them for less money.

You’re a smart shopper, after all.

You did your research before you made your purchase. In the end, you got a pair of shoes you love with just the right fit. Then you went online to share your feedback so others could learn from your experience.

Today, the process of finding a job and a company you love is no different. Today’s job seekers are really “job shoppers.” Transparency has changed how people search, evaluate, and “try-on” a potential job before they “purchase.”

They’re looking for insights from those who know the culture and the work experience best — the employees. They can view photos and videos that provide a peek inside the walls of a potential employer. And, with the availability of salary data, they can even price compare. As consumers in the job shopping process, job seekers know what they’re looking for and it’s easier than ever to find it.

This isn’t just good for the job shopper, it’s good for you, the employer, as well. You’re not looking for just any candidate; you’re looking for the right candidate. And the right candidate comes to you with eyes wide open because they’ve done their research “shopping” for the right job.

Candidates shopping for jobs are following a similar path to purchase that consumers, moving through the “marketing funnel,” follow. Here are some tips for recruiters for how to engage and delight your “consumers” throughout the consumer decision process:

Step 1: Recognizing a need

First, the job shopper recognizes the need for a new job. Eighty-nine percent of visitors to Glassdoor are either actively looking for a job or open to better opportunities*. Yet, 57 percent of those visitors are currently employed*.

It’s safe to say, by posting a job, employers have established a response to the need. Having and communicating a clear, authentic, and differentiated employee value proposition in all your touchpoints, helps the potential candidate shopping for a job determine if what you’re offering will meet their needs, right off the bat.

Step 2: Doing your research

Once consumers recognize a need, they set about doing research. They’re savvy consumers, as well. On Glassdoor, we find that at the early stages of the search, 61 percent are seeking company reviews and ratings before making any decisions, and the majority read at least six reviews before forming an opinion about a company*.

The more you know about the “shopping” habits of your job shoppers, the more targeted you can be with your messaging. Be aware of where different job seekers search for information and meet them where they are “Shopping.”

For example, if you’re looking for engineers, know what sites they’re looking at, know what language appeals most to them. How about hiring for marketing or sales? What appeals most to those job seekers? Know your audience and what appeals most to them – is it solving hard problems, the prospect of autonomy, or is it the ability to be creative?

One size does not fit all. Do your research, so that as your talent is shopping for their next job, you’re at the top of their list.

Step 3: Evaluating alternatives

Just as consumers compare competing products for cost and quality, job seekers are stacking employers side-by-side against each other. They look to videos, pictures, employee reviews, salary, and company mission to name a few. So, put your best foot forward.

One of the biggest tips for recruiters that we have is to know your value proposition. To win talent at this stage, know what sets you apart from competing employers. What makes the work at your company meaningful? What’s unique about your company culture? These are the messages you need to share with job seekers in your employer branding efforts. Show employees what makes your company and the job special compared the alternatives.

Step 4: Making a purchase decision

It’s time for our job shopper to make a final decision. For many of them, this happens in the interview stage after trying on the company and the job. They’re looking for the best fit.

Lead candidates to the purchase decision with an awesome interview experience. No two candidates are the same so Think about how to tailor this experience to each candidate. You don’t want to lose the right candidate for the wrong reason.

Meet with the interview panel prior to the interview and provide them with as much information as you can about the candidate. That way, they can be sure they are asking the right questions and you’re providing them with the most important information.

In addition, let candidates try the company on. One of the biggest tips we give recruiters when it comes to closing the “right” candidate is to provide a true experience at your company. How about including an informal lunch with the team for those who prefer a more casual experience? For engineers, try giving them a hard problem to solve. You’ll give them a taste of the kind of thinking required for the job and let the team get a better understanding of the candidate’s skills.

Provide a tour of the office. Let them walk around and see how comfortable they feel. Most importantly, be transparent – it’s good for both parties to answer any and all questions openly and honestly.


Step 5: Evaluating the experience

After consumers make the purchase decision and buy a product, they often leave a review on Glassdoor. While some candidates will write a review of the application process online, not all employers give job seekers the opportunity to give direct feedback. Yet, it’s a critical part of the process.

Embedding requests for reviews into your existing recruiting processes can be an easy and very effective way to ensure you’re gathering the content you need. Evaluating and responding to reviews on a regular basis will help you better hone your marketing strategies and help improve your “sales.”

Choosing a job is one of the most important decisions in a person’s life. Think like a marketer. Having a tailored approach to reaching and engaging your job shopper will help you make the sale. If the shoe fits, they’ll wear it.

What does your team do to ensure the shoe fits? Share in the comments below!

* Glassdoor US Site Survey, Jan 2016