Benefits and Compensation, Recruiting

What ‘Career Opportunity’ Really Means to Job Seekers

By now, you’ve seen the surveys that indicate job seekers, especially millennials, want “career opportunities” or “growth opportunities.” But before you restructure your benefits offerings—or worse, think you can’t compete—take a moment to consider what these individuals really want.

Chances are you may already offer it.

More Than a Phrase

“Career opportunity” and “growth opportunity” mean different things to different people.
What job seekers are looking for include:

  • On-the-job learning opportunities
  • Tasks that allow for skills development
  • Opportunities for greater responsibility
  • Opportunities for greater autonomy
  • Formal learning and development programs
  • Tuition assistance to pursue higher education
  • Mentor programs
  • Stretch assignments
  • Career exploration opportunities
  • Defined career paths
  • Career path options

While this is not an all-inclusive list, it should give you an idea of the many ways in which growth takes place.

It’s About the Journey

Do some job seekers still want to climb the proverbial corporate ladder, or at least know that such a ladder exists? Absolutely.
However, even when a job doesn’t appear to offer upward mobility, it usually offers growth opportunity that will benefit the employee in the long run.
This is where companies sometimes miss the obvious, as well as an opportunity to talk about what they do offer. The company that says, “We typically don’t have many senior positions open, and we don’t want to mislead candidates about growth opportunities,” is ignoring growth at the individual level.
Job seekers, meanwhile, are very much focused on this.

Speaking Their Language

Therefore, when promoting a position at your organization, it’s essential to go beyond abstract phrases like “career opportunity” and “career growth” and share exactly what it is you offer. This information should be shared in the job posting, either as part of the ad itself or by including a link to your corporate careers site, where details are provided. Similarly, this information should be shared, in detail, on social media.
This does not mean you must banish “career opportunity” and “career growth” from your recruiting vocabulary. Instead, you want to say, “This is what ‘career growth’ means at our organization; this is how you will further your career when working with us.”
And don’t neglect these details when interviewing candidates. When a candidate says he or she is looking for a “career opportunity” or “career growth,” ask what that means to him or her. Then, talk about everything your company offers.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.