How Employers Can Make Job Hunting Less Stressful for Candidates

How Employers Can Make Job Hunting Less Stressful for Candidates

Joseph Heller once said, “We do have a zeal for laughter in most situations, give or take a dentist.”

But it turns out you could replace the word dentist with ‘job hunt’ – on average people find the process of looking for a new role more stressful than root canal surgery, according to Hired’s Opportunity Index.

After publishing the global results from the index a few months back (and because there tends to be a spike in job changes at this time of year, according to research by Glassdoor), I thought it was time to revisit the numbers from a UK perspective and talk about how we can improve on 77% of Britons viewing the job search negatively.

On that note, did you know only divorce or the death of a loved one are considered to be more stressful than looking for a job? And whilst 69% of British people daydream about leaving their current job, only 14% are actively looking for a new one.

But there’s some optimism in amongst all that dread – 58% of people in the UK believe their dream role is out there.

So, how did we get to the point where people would rather be trapped in a lift than pursue new career opportunities? And how can employers bring some much-needed calm to the process?

Take out the guesswork.

Looking at the results of our survey one thing is clear: most people are afraid of change.

most stressful parts of job searchNearly a third of UK workers (30%) say not knowing whether the new job will be a good fit is the most stressful part of a job search, while general uncertainty (29%) came in close behind.

We believe that all these fears essentially stem from a lack of information. Jobseekers have imperfect information about the opportunities that are out there that align with their interests and skills, and companies have limited visibility of candidates who fit their needs. Looking for a job or hiring for a crucial role is a stressful process because of this lack of quality information. Using data to match people with the right opportunities takes the guesswork out of the situation.

But how does this help counter the two biggest causes of job search-related stress: the thought of starting over in a brand new role and the interview process itself? Almost half (47%) of people cited these situations as major deterrents.

To be put it simply, if people are applying for jobs they know are a good match for their skills and experience they will be more confident approaching the recruitment process.

Match the right people to the right roles.

Knowing why people find the job search stressful is interesting, but it’s what employers can do to help temper that negativity that really matters in the long run.

Thankfully, our study revealed some straightforward improvements that would make the job search easier for prospective employees. Getting matched with companies who would be a good fit for their skills was top of the wish list, with over a third saying this would make their job search easier.


People also want help finding jobs that better match their interests (32% of UK respondents) and want to know more about exciting companies with relevant opportunities (23% of UK respondents).

With so many candidates and so many jobs out there, the only way you can ever hope to match somebody’s skills and interests to relevant opportunities, at the right time, with the right company, is through data and machine learning. We created our own platform to facilitate this process at scale, matching candidates to roles and salaries based on facts and data rather than opinion or unconscious bias.

And it isn’t only the job search itself people want help with. They also want guidance when it comes to their own employability, with 27% wanting a better idea of the type of jobs they’re qualified to do.

Again, this can be achieved by harnessing data in the right way – matching candidates to roles and salaries based on facts and data rather than opinion or unconscious bias.

It’s important to also note that recruitment stress doesn’t only lie with jobseekers …

Two-fifths of hiring managers have difficulty filling jobs, according to ManPower Group’s latest Talent Shortage Survey.

According to Lever’s Recruiting Benchmarks 2016 report, hiring managers mark 45% of candidates as ‘underqualified’ and just one in every hundred candidates gets the job they applied for.

So it seems for hiring managers, the problem is a lack of relevant applicants rather than a lack of them altogether.

All parties could therefore benefit from a more transparent and efficient way of connecting jobseekers with opportunities, and the way to do that is through data.

In his recent Medium post about Hired’s mission to solve the opportunity crisis, our CEO Mehul Patel talked about reinvigorating the job search by creating more efficiency and transparency and enabling both sides to turn complexity into clarity.

“Millions of people (will) flow to jobs and companies they love,” he said. Doesn’t that sound much less stressful than having your tooth drilled?