Young people about to interview for jobs. It's a good time be looking for a job, but that doesn'tmean the process is enjoyable–a third of workers say searching fora job is harder now than when they started their careers. (Photo:Shutterstock)

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Employers can do a lot more to make both job candidates andexisting workers feel better about their organization, according toMonster's report, “Respect & Threats to Current Job,” from its2019 State of the Candidate Survey.

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Monster commissioned a survey that polled 1,000 U.S. workers andfound that one in seven Americans (14 percent) did not feelrespected during their last job search.

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“Recruiters can do several things to help job candidates feelmore respected including treating candidates like people and not anumber in the process,” says Monster career expert Vicki Salemi.“Following up in a timely fashion after an interview is alsohelpful, even if the answer is evergreen. Communication iskey.”

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Related: Verify then trust: Put science first to improveyour hiring process

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Of the survey respondents who did not feel respected, some ofthe things they wished recruiters and potential employers wouldhave done include:

  • Telling them why they weren't moved to the next stage (32percent)
  • Following up in a timely fashion after the interview (31percent)
  • Acknowledging receipt of application (28 percent)
  • Letting them know if the application had been seen by arecruiter or hiring manager (27 percent)
  • Receiving a rejection in a timely fashion (23 percent)
  • Telling them they would be considered for future opportunities(23 percent)

“Sometimes closure in the form of rejection is better to thecandidate than no news at all,” Salemi says. “As a former corporaterecruiter, there were several instances where candidates thanked mefor getting back to them and were grateful for a rejection, so theyknew where they stood in their candidacy and could move on to otheropportunities.”

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Respect is important because it's a key driver of engagement – people want to feel recognized,valued and ultimately, respected, she says.

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“Disrespect can backfire on a company's reputation and when thecompany is one that provides a product or service, for example,that company may risk losing a valuable customer,” Salemi says.

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Meanwhile, three-quarters of the respondents (77 percent)believe there are threats to their current job, including newmanagement (20 percent); toxic boss or working environment (19 percent);layoffs (17 percent); recession (16 percent); younger coworkers (15percent); industry changes requiring new skills (14 percent); andautomation/technology replacing jobs (10 percent)

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Management can help current employees feel less threatened byhaving transparency in terms of communication, Salemi says. In thecase of new management, managers can help employees feel lessthreatened by meeting with both the team and individuals to talkabout their work style, vision for the department and the overallcompany with clear, quantifiable goals. Clarity is especiallyimportant when new management takes the helm.

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“In the instance of layoffs or recession, honesty is important,”she says. “In some instances, management may not be able to sayyour job is on the line, but hopefully they can provide informationto the best of their ability.”

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Sometimes, despite open and honest communication, fear aboutlayoffs cannot be alleviated in certain instances, including asignificant downturn, the company was acquired, a worker'sdepartment didn't meet its numbers, or that key clients did notrenew their contracts.

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“There's only so much management can do to help currentemployees feel less threatened because ultimately, the perceptionis in the eyes of the employees,” Salemi says. “Management canattempt to speak openly and honestly, but at the end of the day,employees will think and feel what they will based on receivedinformation.”

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The survey also found that while 72 percent of Americans overallbelieve the job seeker has the upper hand in terms of having joboptions and negotiation power, younger Americans may bedisproportionately benefiting from the modern search process: 83percent of 18-24-year-olds and 84 percent of 25-34-year-olds saythey have the upper hand, vs. 64 percent of 35-65-year-olds.

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Another telling factoid: one in three Americans (33 percent)believe searching for a job today is harder than when they firststarted in their career.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.