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College Student Job Seeker Behavior

Employers & Recruiters April 21, 2016

College Job Seekers Funny
echnology has gradually changed the way we function as a society. We EAT, SLEEP, and BREATH technology and most likely capture all three on camera, to obviously and shamelessly post on social media (ahem, Instagram) at a later date #TBT. I see it everyday on my college campus! Almost everything we do is through a cellphone, iPad, or laptop. Now when it comes to hiring, we all know how technology has been playing a huge part in this process.

Anyways, I was curious to find out more about job-seeker behavior, especially amongst my peers (who are a majority of college students!). So, I some research online on this, but then decided to conduct a survey myself on job-seeker behavior amongst my peers. After, conducting these survey’s to my surprise I found some very surprising trends in the job searching habits of current college students. Now of course, this was a survey administered on a college campus, so many students have yet to swim in the big pond we know as the “professional job market,” but my findings are still very insightful. Especially if you are an employer who looks to target college students! Hint Hint 😉

So before I dive into the juicy details on college student job seeker behavior, let me give you a brief background on the survey. First, the line of questions for the survey ranged from job satisfaction, online job search process, and electronic application preferences, etc. Second, the sample size for this experiment were 33 randomly selected students.

But before we get into that below is a snapshot on the demographics of our survey takers:

Figure 1.1 College Student Job SeekersFig 1.1 – At 79%, most applicants were between ages of 18 – 24 with the majority of the applicants being women; which were 67% of survey participants.

Figure 1.2 College Job SeekersFig. 1.2 – Most applicants were either high school graduates (9%) or had some college experience, which accounted for the majority of the population, coming in at 85%.

Now that, that’s out of the way! Lets actually look at the dirty details of the survey answers related more to job-seeking:

Content with current line of work?
As we know workplace satisfaction is not only important to the well being of the employee, but also to their employer. So one of the first questions we asked college students was “whether or not they were content with their current line of work?” According to survey results, 52% of students reported that they were not content with their current line of work; reasons can either ranged from workplace discrimination or just a lack of passion for the nature of their job. A pretty significant number!

Preferred Employment Application Process?
Although the electronic application is the most popular mode of applying for employment opportunities, there may still be some holes in this practice. When asked whether electronic application was their preference 55% of surveyed college students responded “yes” and the remainder “no”. Additionally, surveyed students reported that they would much rather spend 10 – 30 minutes on each application, with one student stating that they would not mind spending more than 30 minutes on an application. There are obvious benefits for using an electronic application, one being sheer convenience. However, too long of an application might create candidates to drop-off. See charts below for more stats:

Online Application Time College Students

Where do Gen-Yers search for jobs?!
Earlier I stated that the electronic process is basically the industry standard amongst all industries today. And there are thousands of places on the internet that employers post new job too everyday to catch the eyes of the willing, driven, and talented individuals. Exactly 40% of surveyed college students use a combination of job boards and classified sites to find jobs! The remainder were scattered small percentages of referrals, networking, newspaper, etc. Making job boards one of the most prominent spots. Job Board sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Monster, and CareerBuilder, were among the more popular and trusted sites that college student applicants are turning to when it comes searching for a new job (at least according to our survey!). When asked which site they preferred to use among the above listed, applicants chose The majority of survey takers stated that they used all five-job board sites to look for employment, which is a smart choice; the more options the merrier!

Job Boards College Students Use

So there you have it, those are my key insights on this topic. If you’re an employer that targets younger students, I hope you find this helpful and can use this information in your favor target students. As you can see, the best way for today’s employers to acquire top talent is to use technology. It’s no surprise that the trends for job seeking is online! The employment application process and the use of technology are synonymous. We have the world at our fingertips nearly 24/7 because of the ever-so handy cell phone; therefore the best way for employers to get the best individuals is to effectively exist on the grid. Remember as mentioned in a previous post, research report published by Indeed indicated that 71% of people are actively looking or open to a new job and 65% of people start looking for new jobs within 91 days of being hired! Craziness!

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