New Research Sheds Light on Job-Search Demands

Posted by Patty Youngclaus

November 28, 2012

TheLadders has predominantly operated with the goal to make the job hunt shorter, less painful, and more efficient for job seekers and recruiters. We’ve had our successes, but of course we’re always trying to get better.

One of our initiatives was to partner with professors from seven leading universities to research and understand various aspects of the job search and recruitment process. We conducted an in-depth study of job-search challenges, in partnership with Connie Wanberg, from the University of Minnesota, an internationally recognized expert on the topic. The study,  “Navigating the black hole: Explicating layers of job search context and adaptational responses,” has been published in the Personnel Psychology journal.

For this particular study, we had semi-structured phone interviews with more than 70 job seekers that lasted anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes. These calls were transcribed and analyzed to identify common challenges across all job seekers.

For me, hearing our job seekers’ personal stories was insightful. Frustrations with the current economic climate, the lack of human touch or feedback, the technology-driven application processes – all came to the forefront in the form of real stories. Day-to-day challenges of managing the time and effort needed to find and apply to the right jobs, as well as the discouragement one often faces in the process, compound the stress related to finances and life-changing decisions that a job search can bring about. While it can be a learning opportunity, most people viewed the job search experience negatively and understandably so.

Our research here at TheLadders allows us the luxury to be curious. We strive to know more about the job search and how it works, and predict events and human behavior that drive job seekers and recruiters. Teaming up with world-class experts, we’ve been able to look at our customers’ pain points through a new lens, and we look forward to continuously improving our offerings to alleviate these struggles for our customers.

A white paper, commissioned by TheLadders, can be downloaded here, and a video interview with lead author Connie Wanberg can be viewed here.

Archana Agrawal is the Vice President of Strategy at TheLadders. In this role, Archana is responsible for managing the planning and analytics function, including product utilization, marketing analytics, and financial planning and analysis.

Topics: TheLadders Insights