20/09/2017 – Special Report / Employment / BPS World / Global

Job-hunters and sun-seekers

New research finds that, increasingly, those hunting for employment are treating the task in a similar fashion to booking a holiday.


The trend for checking reviews before making significant purchases like holidays and big-ticket electrical items is filtering into the world of work, according to new research released by global resourcing specialist BPS World.


The survey – carried out in late March by OnePoll on behalf of BPS World – polled 1,1250 senior decision-makers and consumers in full or part time work.  It found that job seekers are increasingly reliant on researching their potential employers online and are keen to have a number of job offers on the table before making their decision.


The real deal


The online reviewing culture – pioneered by sites like Amazon and Trip Advisor – is credited with transforming the decision-making process for consumers, with transparent reviews from real people considered more trustworthy than traditional advertising messages.  BPS World’s research polled a group of employers and employees to explore how much this behaviour is influencing both senior business figures and employers when it comes to work and careers.


The survey found that more than three-quarters of employees (79 per cent) would be sure to check out an employer online before accepting a job offer, with 74 per cent of employers doing the same when hiring someone.


Facebook ranked the second most likely place that a potential employee would look, with LinkedIn and Glassdoor proving less popular choices.  Interestingly, this likelihood to extensively research potential employers seems to be a recently emerging trend, with 62 per cent of employees admitting they did not check out their current employer online before accepting their job offer.


Shopping around


“These findings suggest that the open, consumer led platform of Facebook is preferred for creating a truer picture of what the potential employer could be like, in a similar way to the ‘traveller’s own photos’ on Trip Advisor,” said Simon Conington, Founder and MD of BPS World.  “There is an honesty about what people share online that often isn’t reflected in the way a company presents its employer brand.”


Employees were also asked about their attitude to job searching, and the research found that they like to have a shortlist of job offers rather than having to take whatever comes their way.  Some 46 per cent of those surveyed said they ‘shopped around’ and had between two and five options to consider before they accepted their current position – and when asked what they considered to be an ideal number of opportunities to choose from, the largest proportion of respondents said they’d like three potential roles to be on the table before making a decision.


Brand and business loyalty


Both employers and employees were also polled on their personal purchasing behaviour, and the results showed a similar reliance upon online research, with 76 per cent of employees and 85 per cent of employers saying they use online reviews before making major purchases.  The research also found that once both groups have found a brand they trust, a significant proportion of them remain loyal to them, with 53 per cent of employees and 47 per cent of employees saying they would always buy their products over a competitor’s.  Again, this behaviour is shown as influencing us in our careers, with the average longest service at one employer being 7.26 years for the employees surveyed.  When asked why they had stayed with the same employer for so long, almost half (47 per cent) said they simply enjoyed their job, and over a third (38 per cent) said it was because they were treated well, and felt respected and valued.


 “This research proves just how discerning both bosses doing the hiring, and those applying for jobs now are.  There’s greater competition for roles, which means employers can afford be choosy – and both groups are going online to find honest information that helps them make their decision,” observed Mr Conington.  “Both bosses and employees therefore need to think about how their company and themselves are talked about and presented online – and if there’s anything negative, controversial or inflammatory, then they need to get it resolved or removed.  Ignoring it could mean companies miss out on hiring a talented team member, or that an employee loses out on landing their dream job.”

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