We looked at 20 years of job search data from over 43,000 job boards when we created WorkHere to learn how people really look for a job.
People don’t look for jobs like you would think.
On most job boards, there’s a where and what box. Like this:
The where box is pretty predictable. Most people enter a city or zip code.
You would think that people put a skill or a job title in the what box. That’s not what most people do. Here are the top three search terms:
Most analysts ignore these words. While I was at DirectEmployers developing the National Labor Exchange, we’d occasionally have meetings about how to teach people to search for a job the right way. Teaching people to use a job board wasn’t the problem. The problem is that for most people who work outside of management, engineering or other knowledge worker professions, the skills and job requirements aren’t all that important. Location is.
For people who earn lower wages, location is more important.
When we designed the first version of WorkHere, we decided to build an app that works like most job seekers:
Location first and on a mobile device (more on that in a minute).
In fact, the first version of WorkHere couldn’t do anything other than grab your current location and list nearby places with jobs open. That was a huge win. You could quickly see sometimes hundreds of places with jobs open nearby. Now you can go to any address, city, state or neighborhood. You can quickly see who is hiring and who isn’t.
So why is mobile so important?
Personal computer sales have slowly been going down. People who earn lower incomes are less likely to own a PC. Fortunately, 85% of the population over 18 has a smartphone. So, for a person who has to stick with the most useful basics, the smartphone is more likely to be that person’s only connection to the internet.