Jobseeker Preferences Report 2022 summary
jobs.ac.uk attracts a diverse and highly qualified audience across a range of disciplines. Our 2022 report shows how this audience breaks down and offers insights that can help you successfully advertise your job and PhD opportunities to the right people on our platform.
At a glance
Of the 8,512 that took part in the survey, 95% had a Degree, a Masters or a Doctorate, with 30% having over 10 years’ work experience. 55% of academic respondents currently work as lecturers or are in more senior roles. As well as this, 31% of people who took part in the survey who work in higher education are working in a professional services role.
80% of respondents use jobs.ac.uk to find and apply for jobs. A further 13% use the site to find and apply for PhD opportunities.
Our candidates are highly mobile, with 83% reporting that they would consider moving outside their home country for a job or study opportunity. The UK, United States, Germany, Australia, and the Netherlands are the most popular countries people would consider moving to.
When looking at incentives, popular reasons for considering opportunities overseas include career progression, experiencing a new culture and enhancing their career with an international position. The main barriers stopping people from moving abroad for a new position were lower salary, leaving friends and family and the cost of living.
What are jobseekers looking for and why?
83% of the jobs.ac.uk audience are either currently employed or still studying, with 95% educated to at least a degree level and 73% holding an advanced degree.
Nine in 10 respondents are looking for full-time work and three in 10 are actively searching or willing to consider part-time roles. The main reason they are looking to change roles is for career progression. When it comes to research roles, 10% of respondents said they are looking for paid research opportunities.
Looking more closely at the type of employment our audience is searching for, over 80% of people who took part in the survey are searching for a job in higher education. 94% are seeking permanent positions, while one in four would consider contract work.
What is our audience’s experience level?
There is a range of work experience among the jobs.ac.uk audience. No matter what type of work experience or career level you are looking for, jobs.ac.uk can help your institution advertise a variety of roles to our diverse pool of candidates.
30% of candidates have more than 10 years’ work experience. At the other end of the scale, 3% are still studying and a further 3% have recently graduated.
Looking at how our candidates’ experience differs by sector, our audience has a mixed background across Higher Education, Further Education, Public Sector (non-academia) and Private Sector (non-academia), with many having experience across multiple sectors.
Jobs in higher education
Out of all the jobseekers that filled in the survey, 82% of them are looking for jobs in higher education, with 67% of those looking for academic or research positions and 31% looking for roles in professional services.
The recruitment process
When it comes to job adverts, 63% of our respondents would like an advert that contains all the job details, including a job description and person specification, and 34% would like to see information about the employer included in the job advert as well as the role itself.
Aside from the job title, salary and location, a clear job description was the most important part of a job advert by far (85% of respondents chose this answer). Over half of respondents found a long application process (56%) and not hearing back from a role they applied for (48%) to be the most frustrating part of a job search.
In terms of interviews, the majority of our audience (58%) would prefer the first interview to be conducted via video call, with the second interview to be in person and in the town or city where the role is based. (69%)
In the workplace
Four out of five jobseekers would like a combination of home-based and on-campus work in the future. An institution having a reputation for being a great place to work is also important to our candidates, with 53% saying this is the most important thing for an organisation to have.
The recruitment process
When considering a PhD, over three-quarters of people who took part in the survey said that funding availability was the greatest deciding factor.
Much like our jobseekers, people looking for PhD opportunities said they prefer adverts to include all the details (including the job description and person specification) and 34% said they would like information about the employer as well as the role.
Following on from COVID-19, the majority of our audience would still prefer in-person interviews for local PhDs and video interviews are preferred for opportunities abroad.
In the workplace
Our candidates are looking for PhD research opportunities at institutions that have a reputation for great research and encouraging diversity and inclusion. They are seeking opportunities that would enable them to make significant contributions to their field of study or to pursue an academic career.
There is enthusiasm for pursuing opportunities abroad among the jobs.ac.uk audience. Half of respondents have worked in a country outside their home country and four out of five would consider an opportunity outside of their home country in the future.
Driving and preventing factors for working abroad
When looking at what would encourage jobseekers to consider an opportunity abroad, career progression (54%) and increased salary (655) were the most popular. The top factors that would prevent people from taking up opportunities overseas were a decrease in salary (48%) and leaving friends and family (36%)
Visitors to the jobs.ac.uk website are diverse in age, ethnic background and gender.
While 95% of our respondents are aged between 25 and 64, the largest age group is 35-44. One in two of our audience is Caucasian, with Black and Asian making up 30% of our audience.
There is an even split between male and female jobseekers and almost one in 10 people in our audience identify as LGBTQUA+.
You can see the full report here.