modern job seeker

Talent & Technology: The Rise of the Modern Job Seeker & The “Connected Candidate”


Candidates Were Once at the Mercy of Employers

Just over a decade ago, job seekers were at the full mercy of employers. Job networks were close-looped systems meaning that applicants were restricted in their job search. The employment hunt consisted of dropping a line to a few people in your “network” (your phonebook), scanning through the classifieds, or reaching out to a recruiter who would ultimately use the same primitive search tactics.

The Rise of the “Connected Candidate”

Fast forward to 2016 and the aforementioned scenarios couldn’t be more different. Because of a number of technological advancements, there have been massive changes in how the modern job seeker carries out the job search. The so-called “digital divide” is rapidly narrowing as increasing amounts of people gain access to the web. Currently, there are 3.2 billion people online, which represents nearly half of the world’s population!

As the global population moves online, so too does its job searching activities. This migration has led to several revolutionary changes that have drastically altered job candidate behavior. Through the democratization of job networks, the proliferation of mobile and tablet enabled search, and full transparency into employer brand, the modern job seeker has evolved into a more empowered, “connected candidate.”

Democratization of Job Networks

With the introduction of employment search engines such as CareerBuilder and Indeed, as well as standard company career pages, modern job seekers have limitless access to employment opportunities at their fingertips. Rather than being dependent on the inbound flow of job opportunities, job seekers can now utilize outbound search capabilities to go out and actively find jobs tailored to their specific criteria.

In addition to job search engines, modern job seekers now also have endless networking opportunities through websites such as LinkedIn. These professional networking sites allow individuals to rapidly grow their “circles” and establish relationships that can lead to job opportunities going forward. Beyond this, having an online profile allows candidates to easily develop and market their personal brand to potential employers.

Mobile Job Seekers

This past year, online desktop search was surpassed by mobile search. In the US alone, there will be 207.2 million smartphone users (2 billion worldwide) by the year’s end. According to separate independent studies from Kelton and Glassdoor, it was found that nearly 9 in 10 job seekers use their mobile devices throughout the job search. Furthermore, 71% of candidates want to apply via mobile and 55% want an easier way to upload their resume to your website from a mobile device.

Based on these numbers, one thing becomes clear- we are in the midst of a mobile revolution. A mobile recruiting strategy, which was once considered a nice-to-have, has now become an essential component of a successful talent acquisition blueprint. Candidates can and will be searching for your jobs on the go using their mobile phone. As an employer, if you don’t optimize your application process for mobile users you are missing out on a massive pool of candidates.

Mobile Implications on Candidate Experience

So what are the consequences of not offering a satisfying mobile apply experience to the modern job seeker? They will simply move onto the next application that does. As an employer, you need to meet users where they are at and offer the easiest application process possible. The candidate experience plays a major role in whether a job seeker will complete and submit an application. If most candidates are first searching for your jobs on their mobile devices, you need a streamlined mobile apply offering to avoid candidate drop off.

Employer Brand Transparency

As modern job seekers continue to move their search activities online, they have become increasingly interested in the company culture of potential employers. High demand for this information has given birth to sites such as Glassdoor and other employer review services. As a result of these offerings, candidates now have extensive visibility into “a day in the life” at your organization.

As this information has become available, candidates are using it more and more as a deciding factor for applying to jobs. For this reason, developing a strong company culture and employer brand are now legitimate recruiting tactics for attracting modern job seekers.


Learn How to Engage With Connected Candidates at Newton Bootcamp

Interested in learning more about the “connected candidate,” the evolution of modern recruiting, and the best techniques for engaging with them? Join us for our September Bootcamp, “Sustainable Growth: The Intersection of Talent and Technology” and hear from our co-founder, Joel Passen, about how you can optimize your recruiting efforts for the modern job seeker!

Join Us!

Thursday, September 29th at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST.


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