ZEIL of Fortune - What are Job Seekers actually looking for?

Scott Burnett

Director & Founder of Island Recruitment

01 April 2024

It seems a little grim out there. Not just in our industry, but every other day you see that more people are being let go. You only need to look as far as the media you consume and the layoffs from TVNZ and our pals over at News Hub. The simple fact is, that no one is safe when profitability takes a hit. It’s not just the last ones in that are susceptible to the chop, we’ve seen recently in the market that those at the very top can be deemed surplus to requirements. Speaking with a Country Manager this week around this uncertainty they remarked “It’s why I bill at least $200K” Now at their level there isn’t a lot of BD to be done but they acknowledge if you’re not covering your cost of seat, you’re not covering your arse. The market is awash with consultants with low billing figures or candidates who would rather not do cold BD. But amongst them are top candidates who have had enough of the revert back to little to no flexibility, the splitting of a desk from a hybrid or model, or those who have seen their friends ruthlessly cut undermining the trust in the organization. These are the kind of people that you want to pick up just as the financial year window is about to shut.

At the last Recruitment Meet-Up, we were privy to a data drop by the impressive Zeil team. Daniel Kilmister who is in my top 3 of Māori/Icelandic recruitment professionals was kind enough to send me slides from his informative presentation as well as the beta versions of a dashboard centred around applicant data. The dashboard contains anonymized data of people applying for jobs on ZEIL, over the past 4 completed months. It has been created with over 500,000 data points. While Recruitment & Employment are not included in the drop-down of industries everything from Accounting to Trades & Services is. I can see this tool being handy for recruiters who are looking for an understanding of where the market is at. Or to refer to when speaking with clients on salary expectations, age, or gender of applicants. As it is still in Beta it requires some tidying up but when the bells and whistles are attached you can have a proper play. Till then the link is here.

While this is interesting and will no doubt aid your client base, what will make a candidate select your place of work over another? For that, Zeil broke it down even further.

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Sun Tzu believed the best way to conquer an enemy is to first understand them. In the Art of Recruitment, your best chance of placing a candidate, be it in your agency or into a client you represent, is to first understand what they are looking for. The above and below slides give some insight into what people are searching. Often what someone searches can differ significantly from what they are saying when addressed face to face. For example, I feel that the benefit of "free food" would raise a few eyebrows when said in an interview format. It shows how important diversity is when we see Woman CEO, Woman Leadership, and Neurodiversity consistently in Top 10 of searches.

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The thing is, it’s all cyclical. The market will come back around and more likely sooner than we think. Headcount will need to be increased to maximise potential profit and the mistakes of the past will be made again. I always say you can’t blame agencies for being ambitious, ultimately the buck stops or starts with the consultant. But when this swing happens, how are you positioned to potential candidates? How many of these search terms can you confidential say your brand represents? For more insights give Daniel a shout, the man in the know.