I recently had the opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas, to meet a number of folks who work at the job website Indeed. If you've looked for a job in the last ten years, there's a good chance you've visited Indeed: In 2010, the website surpassed Monster to become the highest-trafficked job site in the United States. In May, a report from SilkRoad found that, in the U.S. in 2016, 72 percent of interviews from job sites came from Indeed. In the same period, Indeed also delivered 65 percent of new hires from online sources.
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In Austin, I spoke with Paul Wolfe, Indeed's senior vice president of human resources, to get his take on what job seekers are looking for in future employers. Not only does Paul lead the charge on Indeed's own hiring, but he also has insight into the hiring processes at companies around the world.
As you might expect, one of the key things employees are looking for is flexibility. Since 2014, job searches including words related to flexible work arrangements (think: "work from home") have been on the rise globally.
"Flexibility is a big thing," Wolfe says, "With the advances of technology, you can do your job from any place really."
Student debt is also on the minds of job seekers. Many young professionals say that loan assistance is a high priority for them, but only 3 percent of employers offer such programs.
"In some cases, it takes 21 years just to pay off your four-year degree," Wolfe says. "You're in a hole before you even start your career, which is tough."
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Wolfe is an advocate of unlimited paid time off, too.
"I want our employees to be happy," he says. "I want them to continue to nurture relationships outside of the company with family, a significant other, friends, colleagues."
Wolfe says he wants his employees to take time off before they hit a wall.
"As an HR leader, I know that when you hit the wall, productivity is not great," he says. "Your work product suffers. You have probably become a little disengaged at that point."
Indeed's employee tagline is: "We care about what you care about." If any company wants to capture the hearts and minds of its employees, it needs to find out what's important to them. I speak with job seekers every day who would give up a portion of their paychecks in exchange for flexibility, respect, and fulfillment. It seems that Indeed is finding the same to be true with its workforce.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.