Not that long ago, all an employer needed to do to get applications for a vacancy was to post a small press advertisement and wait for the polite application letters to arrive in the mail.Over the last few years we’ve seen a radical shift not only in the way employers advertise their vacancies, but also in how they pitch their opportunity and their business to a market of increasingly savvy and demanding jobseekers.These jobseekers are looking at more than just salary and job title; they are looking at company culture, lifestyle, work – life balance, and an Employer Value Proposition that is tangible and recognised by employees.

The Impact of Social Media

Founded in 2003, LinkedIn became the first dedicated social networking site for business, capitalising on the success of Facebook and duplicating it’s model for a more professional audience.Fast forward to late 2015 and LinkedIn reported more than 400 million dedicated users worldwide with 178.4 million of them visiting the site every month.And the impact on recruitment and attraction has been staggering. More jobs are now being secured via networking on LinkedIn than ever before, and in some sectors has completely overtaken traditional applications.It’s not just recruiters and hiring managers who are approaching potential candidates – job seekers are now pro-actively approaching people or companies they want to work for.

Social Media has also meant that prospective employers can learn more about a potential hires life outside of work than ever before.Of course, what hiring manager doesn’t look at an applicants LinkedIn profile when reviewing their CV?But they also look at their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…

It’s About More Than Just the Job

So employers are utilising social media more than ever before, but it very much works both ways.Post-recession the job market is back to being candidate driven, and those prospective employees want to know more about an organisation that just salary and benefits.Corporate Social Responsibility, Values, Approach, Culture – all of these things will sell one company over another to a jobseeker.Huge brands such as Google and Apple were the first to sell their culture as a reason to work there, and the John Lewis Group have practically made it an art form.We spend more time at work than ever before – an average of 43.6 hours per week in the UK, with almost four million of us working at least 48 hours a week, which is 350,000 more than a decade ago. So if we’re spending more time at work than at home, is it any wonder that culture and environment is so important to us?

Research conducted by Mindflash showed that employees and their managers may not all be on the same page when it comes to workplace satisfaction.When asked to list the top ten things employees value, the answers given by employers and employees were different in content and priorities.While employers thought tangible benefits such as benefits and salary were of most importance to their employees, their staff focussed on things such as a feeling of being supported, good working conditions and an appreciation of work done.

An estimated 14.1 million people in Britain want flexibility in their working hours or location, equivalent to almost half the working population.But research conducted by Timewise in 2015 found that only 6.2% of adverts mentioned a degree of flexibility and offered a salary deemed high enough to live on – the full time equivalent (FTE) of £20,000 or more.It found flexible job opportunities were best in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England while London was the worst place to find decent-paying, flexible work. The move towards more support around flexible working and working from home, is one clear indication that employers are increasingly responding to this shift in priorities but the vast majority are still failing to capitalise on changes to the way people work to get the skilled workers they need.

The Future

Job seeking is online but personal, working conditions are flexible demanding – employment and the employment market has adapted to the 21st century and is continually changing.The exciting question is, what next?

Jo Frawley, Recruitment Business Partner

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