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From Career Transitions to DEI: LinkedIn Polls Shed Light on Job Seeker Priorities

By Marcia Silva posted 04-17-2024 08:58:00 AM

With nearly 27,000 followers, LinkedIn continues to be one of HERC’s top channels for reaching and engaging with job seekers, particularly those that identify as being in the middle stage of their careers. We leverage social media and regularly post LinkedIn polls to learn about what potential and current higher ed professionals think about relevant and timely topics related to working in higher ed. 
Below are some recent poll results to reflect on as you consider employee recruitment and retention initiatives.
Changing Careers is Common
LinkedIn Poll Career Paths
When asked if they’ve ever switched career paths, nearly the same percentage of respondents answered “Yes, over 5 years ago” (34%) and “Yes, within past 5 years (36%), while a smaller amount (12%) noted “No, but I intend to.” This indicates that most respondents are open to exploring, finding, and moving into a new job or career. 
There are many takeaways from this poll, including expanding recruitment efforts to professionals working outside of the higher ed sector, developing onboarding plans that meet the needs of new staff with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and re-evaluating and refining employee retention programs.
Perceptions of Higher Ed Careers
LinkedIn Poll on Starting Higher Ed Career
When asked if they felt that it was difficult to start a career in higher education, the responses of “Absolutely” and “Somewhat” were tied (39% each). There were lots of good comments posted in response to the poll and a popular sentiment was that the hard part wasn’t starting, but rather advancing careers in higher ed. 
LinkedIn Poll Comment on Starting Higher Ed Career
This result enforces the importance of investing in and providing career growth opportunities to employees. From the 2023 HERC Job Seeker Survey, the top 3 indicators of an employer’s commitment to career advancement include professional development opportunities, career pathways, and mentorship/sponsorship programs.
What Makes a Good Manager
LinkedIn Poll on Good Manager Signs
When asked about the most positive sign of a good manager, the top response was “Gives Clear Direction” (47%), followed by “Ensures Manageable Workloads” (33%). 
Many posted comments identifying other signs and clarifying what they consider good managers to be. Being a good communicator was referenced often, tying back to the top response. Providing context, being specific, and communicating often are a few ways to provide better direction.
Overtime Work Remains Pervasive
LinkedIn Poll on Overtime Work
When asked about time worked beyond the standard 40-hour work week, only 21% reported NOT working additional hours. 
We know from the previous poll that ensuring a manageable workload signals a good manager. From the 2023 HERC Job Seeker Survey, we learned that work-life satisfaction is one of the top 5 reasons why job seekers are searching for a new job. All these data indicate the need to better communicate an employee’s priority projects and tasks and to provide options to support an employee’s life outside of work, such as flexible scheduling.
Workforce DEI Awareness
LinkedIn Poll on Workforce DEI Awareness
When asked if they are aware of their current higher ed employer’s DEI efforts, most (62%) reported hearing about them “Often”, however a highly supported comment suggested that demonstrating those DEI efforts is more telling than simply hearing about them.

LinkedIn Poll Comment on Workforce DEI Awareness

So what are some ways you can show your DEI commitment? According to the 2023 Job Seeker Survey, job seekers consider the following as the top indicators of an employer’s commitment to DEI: 1) salary and compensation equity, 2) has a positive reputation from current employees, and 3) demonstrates that diverse faculty/staff can advance in their careers. Find ways to showcase these efforts, such as posting salaries in job postings and writing articles about employees’ stories inside and outside of work.

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