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Insights from job market candidates

Insights from job market candidates

Independent research conducted by Nature on behalf of SEEK (interviewing 4000 Kiwis annually) reveals interesting feedback from candidates on employment since the outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide...


Rethinking Careers

  • COVID-19 has triggered 1 in 3 (33%) candidates to rethink their career. Close to 1 in 2 (45%) of those whose working situation has been negatively impacted agree COVID-19 has made them rethink their career
  • Candidates are becoming more risk averse with their career choice in light of the current circumstances. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, more candidates (45%) expressed interest in moving to an industry that is less likely to be impacted by COVID-19.
  • 2 in 3 (67%) candidates view job security now as more important when looking for a new role. Only 15% of candidates are willing to accept a job that lacks job security. In fact, 60% of candidates would be willing to trade a lower salary for a more secure job.
  • Aside from seeking job security, 31% of candidates are also interested in taking on a ‘side hustle’ or having a side business in the next 6 months 


Crowded Job Market

  • Given the recent changes to the job market (i.e. fewer jobs available and more candidates out of the workforce), candidates’ attitudes toward how they should apply for jobs have also changed.
    • More than half of all candidates (56%) think they need to do more in order to stand out from the crowd, with tailoring applications and contacting the hirer directly being the most mentioned methods to stand out.
  • When it comes to what candidates and hirers think will provide applicants with a significant advantage in their job applications, both candidates and hirers think researching companies and industries before the interview as well as tailoring their cover letters and CV would give them the most advantage.
  • Employment history (incl. time spent in previous roles and companies worked for) and technical skills are the top things hirers pay attention to in an application. Fewer hirers pay attention to cover letters when compared to content in CVs; however, it is still a check-box item when initially screening candidates to proceed to the next step.
  • Many candidates would refrain from applying for jobs they are not qualified for. However, most hirers place more value on being passionate about the role rather than necessarily having adequate experience. 71% of hirers say they are likely to hire someone who is extremely passionate about the role, though has limited experience.


NZ Source: Independent research conducted by Nature on behalf of SEEK. Interviewing 4000 Kiwis annually. View SEEK inights