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Monster’s survey: Applicants would prefer more clarity during recruitment process

Alma Media Corporation        Press release                               6 May 2015 at 10:35 a.m. (EEST)


When it comes to job applications, Finns are not backward in coming forward. This is the finding of a survey conducted by Monster in Finland, which showed that up to 55% of job seekers will submit an application even if they fail to meet the candidate specification set out in the job advert. Many expressed a wish for more clarity both in terms of the job advert itself and the recruitment process as a whole. The survey results suggest that, these days, applicants actively seek out information on their prospective employers. Most of the information is sourced online but few turn to social media.

According to a survey conducted by Alma Media’s recruitment service Monster, job seekers find the search process challenging but they are also confident in sourcing information about prospective employers via a number of channels. Considerably more than half of the respondents to the survey, which focused on the job application process and the applicant experience, reported that they had applied for a job in the past month. In the majority of cases, the traditional application process was used – at 47% nearly half of the applicants had used the employer’s own recruitment portal to submit an application, with more than a third at 36% opting to do so by e-mail. Just 1% had applied for a job using their social media profile.

Applicants value information and clarity

According to the survey, what respondents considered the most important single detail in a job advert was the job title, with as many as 65% of the respondents saying that it was the reason they read the advert in more detail. The finding suggests that the job titles attached to advertisements determine whether an applicant will click on it to read more. As such, information-packed and attractive job designations are an important part of the overall recruitment process.

Applicants were clear that what they definitely wanted to see in an advert was a clear job description, details on the job requirements, office location, salary information and detailed guidance on how to apply. Women were found to be more likely than men to want to see salary details displayed on the advert, along with the training and development opportunities offered by the employer. Out of female respondents, 46% expressed a preference for salary information being displayed, compared with 35% of men. However, as it transpired in the comments submitted by the survey respondents, what matters more than salary information is that a salary scale is provided as part of the job advert. The scale provides a useful indication as to whether the prospective applicant and employer are thinking along the same lines money-wise.

“A high-quality job ad provides a salary scale and specifies whether there are prospects for a bonus or other performance-related pay,” wrote one survey respondent in response to a question about what makes a good job advert.

Finnish job seekers are characterised by their bold attitude. At 55%, more than half said they would apply for a post even if they did not quite meet the candidate specification.

The willingness to apply regardless of whether you fill the criteria was found to vary by educational background. Some 74% of high-school graduates and respondents with studies from high-school said they would go ahead anyway, while 61% of respondents with a qualification from a university of applied science said they, too, would apply regardless. At 56%, those with a university or other higher education degree were the most likely to want to seek out further information about the post on offer.

Extra info found online

Having found an interesting job advert, applicants will most often look for more information, either on the company’s website or elsewhere online with the help of a search engine. As yet, few choose to turn to social media. The prospective employer’s own website was rated the best source of information. This means that, in order for prospective applicants to be impressed and persuaded to apply, companies must make sure their own website is up-to-date, in good order and packed with the relevant information. Friends, acquaintances and current and previous employees are considered an important source of information, particularly by the 35–44 age group, of whom as many as 56% reported that they considered their own contacts one of the most important sources of information during the job search.

According to the survey, what the respondents found most difficult was making sure they stood out from the other applicants, particularly where a recruitment portal was being used. Unclear job ads and incomplete application guidance were also named as a particular challenge. Finns also reported struggling with selling themselves and speaking highly of their own skills.

“What I find most tricky is when employers don’t make it clear what type of person they are looking for. And totally unrealistic candidate criteria compared with the actual post on offer are a real burden on the job market at the moment,” one respondent said.

*The Monster job searcher survey was carried out in December 2014. The survey attracted 415 respondents aged 18–55.

For more information, please contact:

Mirva Puranen, Specialist, Job Seeker Services,

tel: +358 10 665 2519,

Alma Media in brief

Alma Media is a media company focusing on digital services and publishing. In addition to news services, the company’s products provide useful information related to lifestyle, career and business development. The services of Alma Media have expanded from Finland to the Nordic countries, the Baltics and Central Europe. In 2014, the company employed an average of 1,830 professionals (excluding deliverers), of whom approximately one quarter worked outside Finland. Alma Media’s revenue in 2014 totalled approximately EUR 295 million. Alma Media’s share is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. Read more at

Monster is the world’s largest job search service on the Internet and the industry market leader in Finland as well. The website has over 100,000 weekly visitors from different browsers (TNS), and around 1,500 new job advertisements are added each week. Monster can be used to find jobs in over 50 countries. Monster is owned by Alma Media Corporation (85%) and Monster Inc. (15%). Discover more at

  • Published: 6.5.2015, 10:35
  • Category: Press release, Releases

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