Dramatic Shifts in Job Seeker Attitudes Due to Pandemic

Jobvite has published its 11th annual Job Seeker Nation Report, an in-depth look at the behaviors, views, and preferences of the modern American workforce. The report suggests uncertainty, unemployment, and financial challenges will drive profound changes in the employer-candidate relationship.

Unlike previous editions, the 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report draws from two survey sets: one in February 2020 consisting of 1,514 employed adults and job seekers in the U.S., and one in April 2020 after the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19, consisting of 1,515 job seekers.

The resulting comparative data revealed, unsurprisingly, that stress levels at work have increased significantly and that job market perceptions have changed rapidly. Forty-seven percent of workers are now afraid of losing a job at some point in 2020, compared to 28% who shared that concern in February.

In addition, nearly half of surveyed workers (46%) now plan to have a second source of income outside of their regular 9-to-5 jobs. And perhaps most worryingly, 19% of workers or members of their immediate families have gone without food for 24 hours due to a lack of money.

“When one-fifth of American workers are experiencing some form of food insecurity, it is our collective responsibility to lend a hand,” said Jeffrey K. Rohrs, CMO of Jobvite. “Accordingly, we’ve made a $10,000 donation to Feeding America, and encourage others to give what they can. Now is the time to come together and help each other navigate the unpredictable and weather the unimaginable.”

Jobvite’s 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report helps job seekers, employers, and recruiting decision makers understand:

  • How today’s job seekers are finding jobs and applying for them
  • Why stability needs to become a part of your employer brand
  • How employer reviews continue to shape job seeker perceptions
  • How job seekers are open to new methods of communication
  • The impact of the current job market on salary and negotiations
  • The benefits and perks that are expected in today’s climate
  • The value of the candidate experience and company culture
  • Preferred communication and interview tactics and platforms
  • The coming shift in market power from candidates to employers

In addition to examining today’s biggest workforce trends, the 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report also compares the perspectives of multiple demographics, including men and women, workers under and over age 40, those with and without college degrees, and rural and city workers.

“Today’s recruiting environment has never been more challenging,” said Rohrs. “Some industries are hiring more than ever, while others are furloughing and laying off employees. As recruiters prepare to face more demanding hiring pressures, they must be armed with the right knowledge, solutions, and compassionate insights to provide a profoundly personal recruiting and hiring experience.”

Additional key findings from the report include:

Job market perception

  • 73% of respondents believe finding a job this year is harder, compared to 48% who felt this way just two months ago
  • 48% of women think it is now “much harder” to find a job, compared to 21% in February

Stress levels

  • One-third (33%) of workers report a somewhat increased stress level at work while nearly one-quarter (22%) report a drastically increased stress level
  • 62% of workers with children at home report that their stress levels have at least somewhat increased over the last 60 days

Company culture still drives competitive advantage

  • 81% of workers think company culture is important in their decision to apply for a job
  • 38% of respondents said they would preemptively reject potential employers due to publicly available reviews

Jobvite’s 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report was initially conducted by Zogby Analytics in February 2020 and examines the views and behaviors of 1,514 adults (ages 18+) in the U.S. who were working full time, part time, or were looking for work during Q1 2020. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic response, Zogby Analytics was again commissioned by Jobvite to conduct a follow-up online survey of 1,515 adults in the U.S. in April 2020.


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