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VOL. 41 | NO. 24 | Friday, June 16, 2017

Path to job candidate’s heart isn’t always paved with cash

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I recently had the opportunity to travel to Austin to meet a number of folks who work at the job website Indeed.com. If you’ve looked for a job in the last 10 years, there’s a good chance you’ve visited Indeed.

In 2010, Indeed passed Monster to become the highest-trafficked job site in the United States.

In May, a report from SilkRoad found that Indeed helps people get more jobs than all other sites combined. The site delivered 72 percent of interviews and 65 percent of new hires in 2016, according to SilkRoad.

That’s powerful stuff.

I spoke with Paul Wolfe, Indeed’s senior vice president of human resources. I wanted to get his take on what job seekers are looking for in a future employer.

Not only does Paul lead the charge on Indeed’s hiring, but he has insight into the hiring process at companies around the world.

One of the key things employees are looking for, as you might expect, is flexibility. Since 2014, job searches including words related to flexible work arrangements (think “work from home” jobs) has been on the rise globally.

“Flexibility is a big thing,” Paul said. “With the advances of technology, you can do your job from any place really.”

Student debt is also on the minds of job seekers.

Twenty-five percent of students say that loan assistance is a high priority for them, while just 3 percent of employers are offering it.

“In some cases, it takes 21 years just to pay off your four-year degree. You’re in a hole before you even start your career, which is tough.”

For the companies that do offer this benefit, some structure it around specific performance goals similar to a bonus payout, while it’s a fixed amount with other companies.

Paul is an advocate of unlimited paid time off, too. I’ll admit, I find this concept a little hard to picture at first.

“I want our employees to be happy,” Paul explained. “I want them to continue to nurture relationships outside of the company – with family and a significant other, friends, colleagues.” Paul says he wants his employees to take time off before they hit a wall.

“As an HR leader, I know that when you hit the wall, productivity is not great. Your work product suffers. You have probably become a little disengaged at that point.”

Paul also observes other trends related to flexibility, such as expanded maternity and paternity care plans that offer longer leave periods.

Indeed’s employee tagline is, “We care about what you care about.”

Ultimately, if a company wants to capture the hearts and minds of their employees, they need to find out what’s important to them.

I speak with job seekers every day who would give up a portion of their paycheck in exchange for flexibility, respect and fulfillment. It seems that Indeed is finding the same to be true within its organization.

For my entire interview with Paul Wolfe and to learn more about Indeed, watch for the upcoming podcast episode on iTunes.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.