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Understanding the ‘Job Consumer’

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By Stéphane Jean, Chief Marketing Officer at Jobillico, in collaboration with Marie-Claude Savoie, Marketing Editor at Jobillico.

The internet has completely changed the way we get our information. It has also made it possible to get practically anything we need (or don’t, as the case may be) without the need to even step out of our homes.

The impact of this massive socio-economic change has branched out to a multitude of aspects of everyday life including, for instance, our interactions with the job market. The changes are so profound that they may be causing the extinction of a well-established segment of the population: that of the job seeker. A new category is emerging: the ‘job consumer’.

What is a ‘Job Consumer’?

The ‘job consumer’ is informed, smart and knows his or her worth on the job market. Aware of what he or she can bring to an organization, this kind of person is always looking to advance professionally. This is the core motivation for keeping a constant watch for new job opportunities.

Nowadays, even employees who are happy with their job stay updated on the state of the job market. According to a survey by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), 40% of employees will consider changing jobs within the coming year even if they feel satisfied with their current position.

This trend isn’t due to some generational difference in mindset; ‘job consumers’ range in age anywhere from 16 to 77 years old. Easy access to the internet spares no age group, it seems, and the capacity to find better employment quickly and with little effort has altered the behaviour of old and young alike.

Furthermore, increased activity and reliance on the social media has strengthened users’ faith in the opinions shared within their network and encouraged them to share their own.

Attracting the ‘Job Consumer’

The era of posting a job and of receiving countless applications is over. Nowadays, recruiting must be proactive and deploy a number of strategies to make the employer stand out: you need to actively seek out and engage the ‘job consumer’.

Consider, if you will, two shoe stores: one is on a busy street in the heart of the city and the other is located on a quiet side street. Which of these two is likely to be the more successful? The traffic and higher visibility of a busy street is undoubtedly the better option, wouldn’t you say? The same logic can be applied to recruiting. Attracting your clientele (job seekers, if you are a recruiter) works much better with greater visibility. But, much in the way a great window display for our imaginary store is an added asset, recruiters also need strategies to grab and hold job seekers’ attention.

Today’s ‘job consumers’ interact with their phone in some shape or form thousands of times a day. The web has become an integral part of their lives and they expect to find – and understand – all the information that they need quickly and easily. The same expectations are carried over to searching for a job. Job postings today require creative thinking to make them clear, accessible and attractive. Drop fancy or outrageous job titles (‘Numbers Ninja’ or ‘Capillary Architect’ just won’t do) in favour of plain, descriptive ones. If you are looking for a bookkeeper, just say so. ‘Job consumers’ are on the market for jobs, not riddles, and what’s more, the SEO for your opening will not be effective. Using the best (and clearest) means at your disposal to prove to the ‘job consumer’ that it is worth applying on your post is the way to go.

Having grabbed their attention, you now need to fuel potential candidates’ interest and keep them engaged at every phase of the recruiting process. On receiving a likely candidate’s resume, for example, you must approach him or her quickly and maintain the flow of information about what comes next via, for example, personalized emails. Make no mistake here: there is no shortage of opportunities available for ‘job consumers’. As a matter of fact, they are very likely getting them by the truckload, so it’s in your best interest to stand out!

Keep in mind, however, that you must be both honest and authentic when communicating with ‘job consumers’. Their goal isn’t strictly monetary: they are looking for a team whose core values they share. Revealing insights into your company culture and the personality of your team will attract those candidates that are more likely to integrate easily.

Keeping the ‘Job Consumer’ in the Job

The ‘job consumer’ is constantly shopping for a new job. Having gone to great lengths to find the talent you were looking for, you have to make sure everything is in place for them to want to keep their position and not be swayed by other opportunities.

To do so, listen to your employees and their needs. Beyond the pay check, a number of initiatives can have a positive impact on the retention of your staff. As Irene Lis, a BDC consultant in Toronto, explains, “employees are motivated first and foremost by a fundamental need for purpose and meaning in their work. Once employees are satisfied that their compensation is fair, the rest comes down to managers and how well they are able to engage the staff. To get that engagement, employees need to believe in the business and the management.”

But what can you do to reinforce the commitment of your employees? Much depends on the culture of your company, and the overall makeup of the people who work for you. Get to know them! Young professionals do not have the same interests or concerns as those who have to manage their work and family life. Get inspired by the various studies on the subject. For example, according to a survey by ADP and Leger, 15% of workers would like to have a flexible schedule, 18% would like to acquire new skills and 15% would like to have more training. In addition, according to the SHRM, the top factors that contribute to job satisfaction are the respect of all employees, regardless of hierarchy, and trust between employees and management.

Interpersonal relationships and employee fulfillment are key factors in well-being at the workplace and, as a result, retention. At Jobillico, our management team relies heavily on those aspects. That’s why a relationship of trust and closeness was quickly established between our employees and their superiors. Additionally, we provide a small monthly budget for teambuilding activities for each team.

In summary, small details and actions all contribute to a harmonious atmosphere that is unique to your organization and will make ‘job consumers’ want to go the distance with you.

See Your Employees as Ambassadors

When your employees fall in love with your organization, they become true ambassadors. With the Web as their soapbox, ‘job consumers’ love to share their moves, good and bad, personal and professional. Be assured that your employees will, without a doubt, talk about your business!

You must see this as a golden opportunity to promote your qualities as an employer (and it’s also free of charge)! An employee who is satisfied with their place of employment will most certainly talk about it to people around them. Keep in mind that satisfied employees will be more than happy to refer their friends or acquaintances for positions that need to be filled within your organization. Of equal importance, the same can be said about employees that have had a negative experience with their place of employment.

As an employer, you must stay informed of changes on the job market and in HR technology. You have nothing to fear from ‘job consumers’! You need only to get to know what they look for, hire them, and then keep them!

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