It's summer again and that means another graduating class has moved beyond college or graduate school into the world of working adults. But many of them are finding that job hunting in today's job market is daunting. The March 2014 unemployment rate for workers under age 25 was 14.5%, more than twice the overall unemployment rate that month of 6.7%. The labor market is definitely headed in the right direction, but improvement is slow.
Generation Y research and consulting firm Millennial Branding, along with Beyond.com recently published the results of a study titled "The Multi-Generational Job Search." This study involved a national survey of both job seekers and HR professionals. One headline finding of the study was that 43% of respondents named "cultural fit" as the most important factor companies use when hiring someone new.
There were other interesting study results, particularly concerning job boards. If your digital publication or trade publication website uses custom job boards, you can be encouraged by what the study found. Here are some highlights, along with highlights from other studies of Millennials and employment.
HR Professionals Consider Job Boards Effective
Companies use job boards because they work. Forty-five percent of companies surveyed said that they find job candidates on job boards. Around 18% of hiring companies find candidates through company websites, while 17% connect with candidates through employee referrals, according to the Millennial Branding study. Even more encouraging is the finding that Millennials and job boards go together well.
Millennials Make the Most Use of Job Boards
When asked how they find jobs, the most popular response among Millennial job seekers was "online job boards" at 28%. Websites and referrals tied for second place with 8% each. Only 2% of Generation Y job seekers found jobs at career fairs. Moreover, more Millennials get jobs using job boards than older generations. Other places Generation Y applies for jobs, besides job boards, include social networks - particularly LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook.
Niche Job Boards Appeal to Millennials
Many job candidates in the Millennial generation are overwhelmed by the large, general job boards like Monster. Says Shara Senderoff, co-founder of niche site Career Sushi, "The big job boards aren't working ... No hiring manager ever said give me a pool of 5,000 resumes that I'm going to search through to find the best candidate." Career Sushi is a combination job board, portfolio site, and social network, and is geared toward Generation Y, and jobs at the internship and entry levels. Advertisers on Career Sushi so far have included Interscope Records and fashion designer Vera Wang.
Millennials Aren't Afraid to Surf Job Boards at Work
Millennials are either the ultimate passive job candidates, or they haven't yet developed a healthy fear of job hunting while at work. A recent Robert Half International study found that 48% of Millennials have no problem with looking for a better job while they're at work. Activities include using job boards, talking to recruiters, and spiffing up their resumes. As you might expect, the percentage of workers who do this diminishes with age, with only 13% of those in the 35 to 44 age group job hunting on the clock, and only 9% of those in the 45 to 54 age group doing so.
Digital publishers that use custom job boards as part of their audience and revenue development strategies should be encouraged by what surveys are finding in their studies of Generation Y and the job market. Job boards are second nature to them, and they tend to gravitate toward niche job boards rather than being overwhelmed by gigantic job aggregators.
Furthermore, employers are enthusiastic about using job boards to reach Millennials for a very good reason: job boards work. So don't believe the familiar refrain of "job boards are dead." People have been saying that for years, and perhaps ironically, it's the youngest generation of workers that's most enthusiastic about job boards. That's great news indeed.