Terms of employment underemphasized in many job postings

Labor market intermediaries can do much more to match candidates’ needs in their job postings. This is according to research by the NBBU on terms of employment in job ads. Although salary was mentioned in 73 percent of the vacancies surveyed, this important condition of employment was found to be made concrete in only slightly more than half of the texts. Other working conditions are mentioned even less often.

The NBBU, in cooperation with Kollektif Media, examined 250 vacancy texts of the 50 largest labor market intermediaries in the Netherlands for the presence and degree of concreteness of terms of employment.

The survey was an inventory on the presence of 10 terms of employment in job postings, including, in addition to salary, work atmosphere, vacation and leave days, travel allowance, pension plan, training and development, bonuses, allowances, flexible working hours and contract duration.

Does the condition of employment answer a candidate’s question?

It was examined whether these terms of employment were mentioned in the job postings examined and whether they were made concrete. This means whether the description of the condition answered the candidate’s question about that condition.

A “market salary,” for example, satisfied point 1, but not point 2. Indeed, this did not answer the question “what does this mean for me? An amount or hourly rate – $2,000-3,000 per month or €14.25 per hour – was assessed as concrete.

Most terms of employment are not concrete

The survey shows that only salary (or rate, in the case of zzp) was specifically named in more than half of the vacancies surveyed. Issues such as contract length (41 percent), training and development (24 percent), vacation and leave time and travel reimbursement (both 19 percent) follow at a good distance.

Some conditions were expected to be named infrequently. One example is bonuses, which are often highly job-dependent. Consequently, this condition appeared in only 14 percent of the vacancies. Nevertheless, it was made concrete in only two percent of the job postings.

Of other conditions, it was more surprising that they were only briefly touched upon. An important requirement for candidates, for example, is work atmosphere. Yet this condition appeared in only 32 percent of job postings. In only 13 percent were specific examples given of what typified the work atmosphere.

Research offers opportunities for intermediaries

“The NBBU wants to demonstrate with the survey that there are still many opportunities for intermediaries to respond to the needs of their ideal candidates in their job postings,” says Anchrit Edelaar, communications consultant for the NBBU.

“There are certainly plenty of opportunities for intermediaries in the SME sector, to which many of our members belong, to distinguish themselves on the basis of their expertise. Many of our members focus on career guidance of their flex workers, think of our program Career Intermediary. They can emphasize this in their vacancies, for example by explaining how they provide this guidance. For candidates, this is an important consideration in choosing an intermediary.”

Put the candidate’s needs first

Marcel Otto of Kollektif Media, a specialist in content marketing and labor market communications, sees that job postings still too often reason from the intermediary or client’s perspective.

“If you put the candidate’s needs first, you pique his or her interest. An intermediary who shows that he thinks along with what is important to a candidate stands out among all those other job postings for the same positions.

Especially in today’s candidate market, job seekers are first looking for an answer to the question: what do you have to offer me? The better you answer that question in your job posting, the sooner they will choose you.”

Some parties are already doing this very well, the survey also found. Several intermediaries named the most common terms of employment and also made them concrete. The job posting that generally contained the most concrete terms of employment was a Consolid job posting for a driver for an online supermarket.

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