A complete breakdown of what job candidates want in 2020

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This is what job candidates want.

Jobs website Monster announced its annual State of the Candidate survey which revealed just how employees are thinking heading into the new decade. From worries of a looming recession to anxieties of the workplace, Monster used information for their survey by interviewing 1,000 full-time and part-time employees in the US.

The economy, more pay, and lying on a resume?

While nine out of 10 candidates feel secure in their current role, about a third are worried about how a looming recession could damage their current job and career, especially Millennials.

Sixty-five percent of Millennials said they more likely than Gen X (55%) and Baby Boomers (55%) to be worried about the current state of the economy, according to the study.

“While it’s understandable that economics plays a key role in how candidates and recruiters interact, the degree to which they are at odds may negatively impact their ability to find the right fit during the hiring process,” said Scott Gutz, CEO of Monster, in a statement. “If both parties can strive to find common ground, and communicate openly and honestly throughout their engagement, they will most likely develop a positive outcome.”

For job seekers, the main reason they started their last job search was to find better pay. Forty-percent of candidates said a higher salary was the main cause for finding a new opportunity, while others said benefits (21%), job dissatisfaction (20%), and finding a better work-life balance (20%).

More than half of candidates who switched jobs said they simply looked for something new because they weren’t being paid enough.

Pay was a concern amongst candidates. Nearly one-third felt their pay was unfair and those who are likely to search for a new opportunity this year said it’s because their efforts weren’t being matched by the dollar. However, those who planned on staying at their current company were more likely to say they were being paid fairly. With candidates not making enough to their standards, nearly half admitted to taking a second job in order to fill the gap in their salary. Once again, Millennials were the most likely to have a second job.

For those trying to get ahead, some have admitted to stretching the truth on either their resumes or cover letters while applying for a new job. One in five candidates (22%) said they lied on their resume and cover letters, while 11% of candidates said they’ve provided false references to a recruited. Millennials are the most likely generation to stretch the truth when it comes to getting a new job.

The art of negotiating

If a candidate is on the verge of accepting a job, employers should know they are ready to negotiate.

More than half of candidates think employers have the upper hand during a salary negotiation, but about 72% said they feel comfortable negotiating their new salary when accepting a new job. That confidence slightly falls off for candidates looking to negotiate at their current job, with two-thirds (67%) saying they feel comfortable.

While some might think you could lose a potential hirer during the negotiation process, two in five candidates said they accepted a job for less money than they asked for due to desperation since they were unemployed and needed a job.

Women were found to be more likely than males to hope to get a raise at their current job in 2020 because they felt they aren’t being paid fairly. However, when it’s time to negotiate their salary, males were more likely than females (76% vs. 69%) to feel comfortable asking for when accepting a new job. The same trend was seen in the battle of the sexes for negotiating at their current jobs (72% males and 63% females).

Stressors in the workplace

As more and more businesses shift to understand mental health in the workplace, one of the biggest stressors for workers is their job.

Two in three candidates said their job positively impacts their mental health, but more than a third said it has a negative impact. Those feeling the stresses of the job are most likely to feel mental and emotional distress at work due to things like heavy workload, not making enough money to cover bills and debts, and working with a toxic boss or coworkers.

Here’s a breakdown of what workers are experiencing:

  • Two in five candidates have experienced anxiety.
  • One in four has experienced depression.
  • One in ten has experienced physical illness.

“For job candidates and recruiters, the goal is the same – to match the right person with the right job,” said Gutz. “But the job search is a two-way street. Employers and candidates need to operate in a mutually beneficial way, enabling them to see and understand each other clearly—to find the right fit for all.”