63% of Job Seekers Think Applying for Jobs at Large Companies Is Easier Than at Small Businesses

It’s no secret that small businesses in Australia play a major role in employing job seekers.

In fact, around 4.8 million people worked for a small business at the end of June 2017, resulting in a 1.4% increase of Australians employed by a small company than the year before. Even still, many small businesses nationwide are continuing to grow, with 12% reporting they are actively expanding their business.

As small businesses continue to expand, understanding job seeker behaviour and opinions about being employed at a small organisation will become essential to attracting top talent.

We surveyed more than 1,000 job seekers to see what they think about applying for jobs at small businesses in Australia. Some of the findings might surprise you.

Most job seekers think applying for jobs at small businesses is difficult

Despite their growing contribution to the employment industry, small businesses are often perceived as difficult organisations to apply for jobs to. In fact, 63%1 of job seekers think applying for a job at a large company is easier than at a small business. This perception is slightly more common with males (66%) than with females (61%).

As a result, 61% of job seekers prefer to apply for roles at larger companies, with male candidates more likely (65% compared to 56% of women). Baby Boomers however are much less likely to prefer to apply for jobs at larger companies (47%) than millennials (63%) and Gen X job seekers (62%).

Despite this, 73% of job seekers believe their application is more likely to be seen by the right people at a small business. Additionally, 58% of job seekers believe they have a greater chance at landing a role at a small business than a large organisation.

Most job seekers believe it is hard to know what it’s like to work at a small business

Not surprisingly, many job seekers think it’s hard to know what it’s like to work at a small organisation. For instance, when applying for jobs at small businesses, 69% of candidates believe it is difficult to get insight into what the role will be like, with male job seekers more likely to believe this than women (71% of men compared to 66% of women). Baby Boomers however are least likely to have this perception, with only 50% thinking it’s difficult to know what a job at a small business is like (compared to 74% of Millennials and 57% of Gen X).

While the majority of job seekers believe it’s difficult to know what a role at a small business is like, 62% believe small organisations are more likely to have true and accurate online reviews. On the other hand, only 38% of job seekers have that same perception about online reviews for large organisations.

How can small businesses make their opportunities easily accessible to job seekers?

When asked if they believed they were aware of all opportunities during their last job search, only one in 102 job seekers felt confident they had been. With an overwhelmingly high number of people feeling like they’ve missed out on an opportunity, it’s important for small businesses to ensure their open roles are showing up when and where it matters.

Understanding where job seekers turn to find jobs is essential to attracting the right applicants, especially since the tools they use can differ by industry and role. More than half (54%) of Australian job seekers reported finding their employment through online sites like Indeed.

As a small business with potentially limited resources (perhaps you don’t have your own dedicated careers page on your website, or have a website of your own at all), online job sites can help to not only advertise open roles, but also build employer brand and engage with active job seekers. For example, tools such as Indeed’s Company Pages allow businesses to build a one-stop-shop experience for job seekers—providing all the information they might need about a company they are considering employment at, including available job opportunities, images of the workplace and even reviews from current and former employees about the company culture and what it’s like to work there.

Job seekers may think applying for jobs at small businesses is difficult but small businesses can help change this perception! By revising application processes to make it as simple as possible for candidates to find and apply for their roles and focusing on amplifying their employer brand to really get their name out there.

You can find out more about how to build your employer brand without breaking the bank, in this article by Raj Mukherjee, Senior Vice President of Product at Indeed.

1Methodology: Indeed partnered with Lonergan Research to survey 1,033 Australian workers in January 2019.
2Methodology: Indeed partnered with Lonergan Research to survey 1,371 Australian workers in July 2018.