Earlier this week, we reported how Americans take one of the most important customer journeys of their lives: buying a home. Today, we are sharing our findings about another important and recurring journey we all take: job hunting. Turns out that job seekers’ priorities change with age, with pay and benefits guiding career onset and company culture dominating the second half of our careers.

Word of Mouth and Employer Branding

According to the Harvard Business Review, job seekers trust more in what employees have to say about their employer than in the recruiting ads. With this in mind, we collected and analyzed two months of America’s job seeking activity on the popular user generated company review website Glassdoor.  Former and current employers have a broad range of attributes listed on the website, from pay and benefits to the interview process, company culture, and even CEO reviews. We analyzed job seekers’ search and browsing behaviors on Glassdoor to identify what resonates most with them, and how this differs across demographics and the companies they research. Read on for our data-driven findings.

Money vs. Culture: The Age Old Question

According to the latest Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement report by the Society for Human Resource Management, the top three factors for job satisfaction are respectful treatment, trust between senior management and employees, and overall benefits. Our data paints a slightly different picture of American job hunters, suggesting that company culture becomes a prominent priority as we mature.

Here’s what we’ve learned from analyzing job seeking behavior on Glassdoor:

  • Money over culture: Generally speaking, 37 percent of the job seekers visited company salary pages, while only one fifth read employee reviews to get insight into the company culture and management.
  • Millennial parents are all about the money: The job seeking behavior of older millennials (25 to 34 years old) indicates that they have the highest interest in salaries and the lowest interest in company culture, compared to the rest of the workforce.
  • Culture takes priority when we hit 35: Millennials put a stronger emphasis on salaries, most likely due to where they are in their career and life. However, our data indicates that culture starts to overtake pay among older generations. A definite upward trend in visits to company reviews and a downward trend to salary pages begins at 35 and continues throughout the second half of the career.

Consumer browsing behavior on Glassdoor by age group provided by Jumpshot

  • Unsurprisingly, there is a gender gap: While benefits play an important role in job satisfaction, we found that less than 9 percent of visitors viewed a company’s benefits page. And most of these individuals are females. Women were 60 percent more likely to visit benefit pages than men, who were 15 to 20 percent more likely to visit a company’s interview and salary pages.

Word Does Get Around

To better understand how corporate image impacts talent recruiting, we investigated user activity for the two leading companies on Glassdoor: Amazon and Google. Both companies are known to have long and grueling interview processes. So it should come as no surprise that both Amazon and Google have 24 percent more job seekers visiting their interview pages than the average for the 20 most popular companies on Glassdoor.

Another example of how corporate image influences recruiting can be found in Amazon’s review page stats. The New York Times recently published an article about the taxing work environment at Amazon, and our data indicated that Amazon job hunters are 34 percent more likely to visit the review pages than Google job seekers.  

Bottom line:

Managing employer branding and corporate image is essential to attracting top talent. There is a lot of information available to job seekers, and the factors that influence their interest in working for a company vary according to socio-demographics. This just goes to show that customization and tailored communication are essential to all aspects of a business, from marketing and sales, to customer success, HR, and talent recruiting.