The Psychology Behind the Global Job Marketplace Worth 30 Billion

Topics covered in this blog:

- Online methods of applying for jobs

- “Feeling Lucky” Search Behaviour

- What information are jobseekers hunting for?

- How to improve your acquisition strategy

80% of today’s job seekers apply for jobs online. But did you know that before they hit “send application”, jobseekers embark on a journey in the quest for their dream job?

People will often view multiple pages of Google search results, job boards and company websites first before even filling out a form or pressing “Apply”. The current online conditions have produced a ‘buyers’ market’ meaning people can now shop around for the best offer, pay, conditions and opportunities.

So, what are the behavioural patterns and cognitive processes of job seekers? 

Online methods of applying for jobs

88% of jobseekers use online job boards at some stage during the job search process.

In addition, 79% of job seekers say they are likely to use social media in their job search, according to Glassdoor. Candidates also use industry-specific job search sites (54%) and websites of companies in which they are interested (55%).

Although online is the most popular channel of job searching, research also shows there are more than five job search methods over the entire process including newspapers, internet, recruitment companies, personal contacts and cold calling.

When jobseekers are in the peak of their online search, what does their behaviour tell us?

 “Feeling Lucky” Search Behaviour

There’s an element of “feeling lucky” every time jobseekers search for a job, even if they enter the same query as they did last week. The desire to not miss out on a dream job means jobseekers are more engaged with the search process, and invest more time in researching the jobs that are out there.  

Thus, jobseekers are selective in their quest to find the perfect job.  A different study shows us jobseekers will scroll through the first 3-4 pages of Google search results pages and are more inclined to click on the last result of each page rather than the first. This behavioural pattern is interesting because if you look at how people behave when performing a regular web search for queries not related to jobs, it’s the complete opposite.  

This behaviour illustrates just how particular jobseekers are when searching for jobs, but what information are they really digging for?

What information are jobseekers hunting for?

A jobseeker will read a job advertisement for 10 seconds before making the decision to apply or not, according to They will look for primary bits of information first, such as salary, industry, location and benefits.

If the jobseeker is satisfied with the primary information, they will look for secondary details that’ll eventually make them apply. This includes role duties, company culture and unique-selling-points.  

Furthermore, if there is a lack of information, people will actually be turned off applying for a job.  According to this study, 25% of jobseekers say they can’t trust what is written in job adverts, which is a startling number. 45% of job seekers also say advertisements are not providing the necessary details about the role.

With this in mind, how can HR managers, recruiters and employers scale up their acquisition strategy and stand out from the crowd?

How to improve an acquisition strategy   

Are you a recruiter, HR manager or employer posting job advertisements but not getting the results you want? Perhaps you need to slightly tweak your acquisition strategy, here are a few tips!

Include the relevant primary and secondary details in the job ad. Don’t leave the candidate searching for extra bits of information or they simply won’t apply. Remember, the jobscape online is like a marketplace, candidates have lots of time and resources that allow them to “shop around”.

Be consistent in your brand messaging and company USPs in your job ads. One of the first steps of the candidate journey is noticing a brand and becoming aware of what it represents. Once positive brand awareness is established, the candidate will move to the next stage of the recruitment journey.

Another way of improving is to soften your job advertisement CTA. Instead of trying to encourage candidates to apply for jobs immediately, say you are available to discuss the position. This will show you are open, approachable and willing to be honest and transparent about the position. You also need to cater for passive candidates who are on the fence about moving jobs. One phone call could change their perspective and instantly make them an “active” candidate.

A good way of opening discussion with candidates is to embrace artificial intelligence and install a chatbot on your company website. Chatbots are great for answering standard questions jobseekers have and they save a lot of time and money for recruiters.

Read our blog on how recruitment companies can adopt artificial intelligence into the workplace.

Don’t let the best candidates slip through your fingers. With HHMC Global recently estimating that the global online job/talent search market is worth $20-30 billion, there’s too much at risk.

Do you need an expert recruitment agency to take the stress out of your hiring process? Let us find the next best fit for your team, no matter what industry you’re in. Call us on 1300 336 686 if you are based in Australia or say Are you in Europe? Call us on +31 20 523 1053!