TheLadders Sheds Light On "Black Hole" For Job Seekers

- New Eye-tracking Study Reveals Job-seeker Behavior; Answers "Why Didn't I Hear Back?" -

May 02, 2013, 14:10 ET from TheLadders

NEW YORK, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a new study announced today by TheLadders, job seekers spend less than 60 seconds reviewing a job posting before deciding to apply or pass. The online job-matching service conducted the study using "eye-tracking" technology to determine what information professionals deem important, how they read listings, and whether competitive information helps them make better choices when applying for jobs, diminishing the "black hole" of the job-search process.

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Despite job seekers self-reporting that they spend up to 10 minutes reviewing a job description to determine whether they are a fit, the results revealed that they devote only 10 percent of that time assessing an opportunity. However, with the introduction of TheLadders Scout, a competitive-analysis tool that provides job seekers with an anonymous overview of who else applied for that same role, job seekers were significantly better at determining if they were a good "fit."

"Job seekers and hiring managers alike share a problem with job listings – job seekers apply for jobs they don't fit, leaving hiring managers with applications that don't fit the bill," said Alex Douzet, CEO and co-founder of TheLadders. "There is so much finger-pointing in the job search, mostly by job seekers who think that overwhelmed recruiters and faulty application software are the factors behind them never hearing back. However, our eye-tracking study shows that job seekers simply need to take a better look in the mirror – and better understand their competition – before they even think of applying to that next job."

Using eye tracking, a scientific technique that implements technology to analyze where and how-long a person focuses when digesting information, TheLadders simulated the way that job seekers viewed free job listings, both with and without competitive data, and monitored their behavior. Highlights from the findings conclude that:

  • When competitive analysis is offered (i.e., TheLadders Scout), job seekers are 35 percent better at determining a good "fit"
  • When able to apply to any job at any level, job seekers choose ones well outside their range

In one part of the study, "gaze tracking" technology was used to create a heat map, which illustrated how much time job seekers spent looking at each section. With conventional job listings, participants spent the most time reviewing (in order):

  1. Title
  2. Company
  3. Job details (salary and recruiter information)

However, with the TheLadders Scout, job seekers looked at:

  1. Competitive analysis
  2. Qualifications
  3. Company
  4. Job details (salary and recruiter information)
  5. Title

"Being at the forefront of the job search for almost a decade, I constantly hear job seekers complain about the 'black hole' of the application process, causing them frustration from feeling overlooked by employers," said TheLadders Job Search Expert Amanda Augustine. "Having deeper knowledge about the competition is essential to identifying the best matches that truly match your experience, salary, and pedigree, enabling job seekers to focus on only the right jobs."

Using sophisticated eye-tracking technology, TheLadders analyzed professionals during a week-long period in March 2013. The quantitative study of job-seeker behavior, including eye-tracking and heat-map images, is available for download at TheLadders Blog.

On an ongoing basis, TheLadders conducts primary user-experience research and analyzes quantitative data provided by its nearly 6 million members to educate the company about current behavioral trends in the job-search process. TheLadders uses this research to improve the customer experience and provide expert advice to the marketplace.

About TheLadders

With nearly 6 million members, TheLadders is the premier online job-matching service, committed to finding the right person for the right job since 2003. With a unique suite of personalized products and resume services, the company helps job seekers connect with employers and recruiters more effectively and efficiently. Originally recognized as the leading job-matching site for high-earning professionals, TheLadders expanded its services in fall 2011 to all career-driven professionals. In doing so, the more than 36,000 employers and recruiters that use TheLadders to source qualified candidates, now have access to professionals at all levels, free of charge. TheLadders is headquartered in New York City. For more information, visit TheLaddersBlog and Your career is our job.™

SOURCE TheLadders