Jobseeker Preferences Report 2021 summary attracts a diverse and highly qualified audience across a range of disciplines. Take a look at how this audience breaks down and get insights that can help you successfully advertise your job and PhD opportunities to the right people on our platform.

At a glance

Our jobseeker survey demonstrates that we have a base of candidates that can fill the roles of retiring senior academics and new entry level positions.

Of everyone that took part in the survey, 94% had a Degree, Masters or Doctorate, with one in three having over 10 years’ experience. Two in five (41%) currently work in senior roles and more than half are working in more junior positions. As well as this, 24% of people who took part in the survey who work in higher education are working in a professional services role.

Out of 3,208 people that responded, 86% use the site to find and apply for jobs. A further 9% use the site to find and apply for PhD opportunities.

Our candidates are highly mobile, with 71% of them reporting that they would consider moving outside their home country for a job or study opportunity. The UK, United States, Germany, Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands are the most popular countries people would consider moving to.

When looking at incentives, popular reasons for considering opportunities overseas include career progression, experiencing a new culture and research opportunities. The main barriers stopping people from moving abroad for a new position were lower salary, safety and security concerns and a lack of support for research.

Jobseeker insights

What are jobseekers looking for and why?

Generally, the audience is either currently employed or still studying, with 93% of them educated to at least a degree level and 81% holding an advanced degree.

Nine in 10 respondents are looking for full time work and three in 10 are actively searching or willing to consider part time roles. The main reason they are looking to change roles is for career progression. When it comes to research roles, 13% of respondents said they are looking for paid research opportunities.

Looking more closely at the type of employment our audience is searching for, over 80% of people who took part in the survey are searching for a job in higher education. Three in five are seeking permanent positions, while one in four would consider contract work.

What is our audience’s experience level?

There is a range of experience among the audience. No matter what type of work experience or career level you are looking for, can help your institution advertise a variety of roles to our diverse pool of candidates.

Three in five candidates have more than 10 years’ experience and one in three have more than 20 years’ experience. At the other end of the scale, one in 10 are still studying or have less than two years’ work experience.

Looking at how our candidates’ experience differs by sector, our audience has a mixed background across Higher Education, Further Education, Public Sector (non-academia) and Private Sector (non-academia), with many having experience across multiple sectors.

Jobs in higher education

Of everyone that filled in the jobseeker survey, 82% of them are looking for jobs in higher education, with 73% of those looking for academic or research positions and 24% looking for roles in professional services.

The recruitment process

When it comes to job adverts, 69% of our respondents would like an advert that contains all the job details, including a job description and person specification. Almost half would like to see information about the employer included in the job advert as well as the role itself.

Aside from the job title, salary and location, a clear job description was the most important part of a job advert by far (83% of respondents chose this answer). Around half of respondents found a long application process (50%) and not hearing back from a role they applied for (49%) to be the most frustrating part of a job search.

In terms of interviews, the majority of our audience prefer in-person interviews for local jobs. Video interviews are the preferred method for overseas positions.

In the workplace

More than three in four jobseekers would like a combination of at home and on campus working in the future. An institution having a reputation for being a great place to work is also important to our candidates, with 46% saying this is the most important thing for an organisation to have.

PhD opportunities

The recruitment process

When considering a PhD, three quarters of people who took part in the survey said that funding availability was the greatest deciding factor.

Much like our jobseekers, people looking for PhD opportunities said they prefer adverts to include all the details (including the job description and person specification) and 40% said they would like information about the employer as well as the role.

Following on from COVID-19, the majority of our audience would still prefer in-person interviews for local PhDs and video interviews are preferred for opportunities abroad.

In the workplace

Our candidates are looking for PhD research opportunities at institutions that have a reputation for great research and encouraging diversity and inclusion. They are seeking opportunities that would enable them to make significant contributions to their field of study or to pursue an academic career.

Working abroad

There is enthusiasm for pursuing opportunities abroad among the audience. Two in three respondents have worked in a country outside their home country and three in four would consider an opportunity outside of their home country in the future.

Driving and preventing factors for working abroad

When looking at what would encourage jobseekers to consider an opportunity abroad, career progression (63%) and salary increase (48%) were the most popular. The top factors that would prevent people from taking up opportunities overseas were a decrease in salary (43%) and a higher cost of living (34%).

Attracting candidates to your overseas opportunities

While considering an opportunity abroad, four in five jobseekers require information on the core benefits offered by the institution, including salary, pension and annual leave. Other important information included location and facilities (57% of respondents said this was essential when considering a role overseas) and job security (44%).

Audience demographics

Visitors to the website are diverse in age, ethnic background and gender.

While 95% of our respondents are aged between 25 and 64, the largest age group is 35-44. One in two of our audience is Caucasian, with Black and Asian making up 15% of our audience respectively.

There is an even split between male and female jobseekers and almost one in 10 people in our audience identify as LGBTQUA+.

You can see the full reports here:

Global jobseeker preferences report

Commercial jobseeker preferences report

Public Sector jobseeker preferences report

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