What Today's Job Seekers Look For in an Employer

3 Key Charts: important recruitment factors, reasons for buying second-hand, and millennial mothers.

Written by PROFIT Staff

Welcome to 3 Key Charts, a weekly department in which we explain the graphs, maps, tables and diagrams that you must understand to guard and grow your business. The diagrams and graphics displayed below could help you discover a new opportunity, alert you to an impending risk, or teach you how to be a better manager.

In this instalment, we look at Canadians’ top criteria when choosing an employer, motivations for buying used items, and the ads that attract millennial mothers’ attention.

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Cash is still king

Where it’s from: “Randstad Award Survey 2014” by Randstad.

What it shows: The most important criterion when choosing an employer. A competitive salary and employee benefits was cited most often both as the top factor (30%) and among the top five factors (73%). Also important were long-term job security (13% top, 56% top five) and a pleasant work atmosphere (8% top, 51% top five). The results were drawn from a survey of 8,520 respondents.

Why it matters: In an uncertain economic climate, money is more important than ever—the percentage of respondents listing financial factors as among their top five priorities rose from 61% in 2012 to 73% for 2014, while other factors like location declined (39% in 2013 to 34% in 2014). Offering competitive wages and an attractive benefits plan are the bare minimum you should be doing in the battle for scarce skilled talent. But there is hope for companies under financial pressure: respondents attached a healthy degree of importance to non pay-related criteria as well. Making a clear commitment to prospective recruits could be a rewarding strategy: long-term job security (13% top, 56% top five) and career progression opportunities (5% top, 37% top five) were both quite important to respondents. Many businesses have responded to the tough financial climate by increasing their use of contract workers, which puts employees in a precarious position and hurts their chances of career advancement. It’s getting harder and harder to find good help, so staying loyal to your staff is a good way to encourage them stay loyal to you.

MORE CAREER ADVANCEMENT: Why You Could Be Promoting the Wrong People »

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Old is gold

Where it’s from: Kijiji Second Hand-Economy Index” by Kijiji..

What it shows: The factors motivating Canadian consumers to acquire second-hand goods. Cost savings was the top motivation for respondents (75 out of 100), but environmental concerns (65 out of 100) and chancing upon items with heretofore unknown value (58 out of 100) also scored highly.

Why it matters: Retailers hoping to entice consumers to their stores or websites would do well to read this table as a list of consumer complaints. Some customers are responding to high prices, environmental concerns or objectionable retail practices by meeting their product needs in the second-hand marketplace, and websites like Kijiji and rival Craigslist have made buying used far easier than the days of scouring classifieds in search of serviceable goods. The numbers add up: sales of second-hand goods in Canada total some $30 billion a year according to the Index. That’s 15% of what consumers spend on new products. Fortunately, buyers don’t always care whether they’re getting their goods from organized or individual second-hand sellers, so retailers who don’t mind carrying some gently-used stock could profit by tackling some of the concerns that cause consumers to think twice before buying used. Worries about sanitation (57 out of 100) and physical integrity (47 out of 100) deter many consumers; adding an organized retailer as the middleman between seller and buyer might go some way to assuaging those concerns.

MORE RETAIL WOES: 4 Retail Disruptors You Need to Be Ready For »

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Advertising to moms

Where it’s from: 2015 State of Modern Motherhood” by BabyCenter and IAB.

What it shows: The type of digital advertisement that are most likely to attract the attention of millennial mothers in Canada. Ads promoting deals, sales or other cost-saving offers were most noticeable (71%) followed by those that employ humour (63%). Ads highlighting products similar to those a respondent had looked up (i.e. online ads that re-target a consumer based on her search history) were not as attention-grabbing (30%). The survey had 8,118 respondents in total, from the U.S.A., Canada, U.K., Brazil, and China.

Why it matters: Childcare and parenting may be the most demographically-determined sector of them all. As more and more millennials age into adulthood and Generation X largely passes the point of childbearing, companies making products for parents will have to adapt to their new market. The survey’s results suggests that millennial mothers are looking for much the same thing as their older counterparts: value. Ads that highlight cost-saving measures have appeal across sectors and demographics, but they may be particularly attractive to new parents dealing with all the costs of childcare for the first time. One effective strategy to consider: using testimonials from real mothers (attention-grabbing for 53% of respondents). Showing that real-world parents are willing to use your product is a good way to assure consumers that it’s safe and useful for their own young ones.

MORE PARENTING: The Big Business of Childcare »

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What conclusions do you draw from these charts? Let us know using the comments section below.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com