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UK Workers Reveal Their Top Job Turn-Offs


In today’s competitive job market, candidates have quickly become more demanding than ever before, setting off on their job hunt with a strict set of criteria in mind. In fact, new research has found that over three quarters (79.2%) of UK workers are not willing to compromise on certain areas when looking for a job, with 18.2% revealing that a low advertised salary would put them off a role entirely.

The research, which was conducted by the UK’s leading independent job site, CV-Library, surveyed 1,000 UK workers and found that candidates are growing increasingly impatient with their job hunt, with many refusing to settle for anything less than the best opportunities. In fact, according to those surveyed, the following aspects would most likely put them off a job altogether:

  • One fifth (20%) would be put off by unclear job descriptions
  • One in 10 (10.2%) said that long recruitment processes would be a turn-off
  • …and 7.8% revealed that poor communication throughout the recruitment process would drive them away from a company

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments:

“Getting the recruitment process right is highly important and this involves finessing every part of that journey. From ensuring that your job adverts accurately portray the role in question, to making certain that your recruitment teams (whether they’re internal or external) communicate well with potential candidates, listening to what candidates want is the only way to stay ahead.

“The good news is that some organisations are recognising that they must adapt to workers’ needs. Just recently KPMG revealed that they had shortened their recruitment process to accommodate future working generations, which was extremely positive to see. Having a lengthy recruitment process is becoming less and less acceptable and often means brands miss out on the best talent because they have already been snapped up by their savvier competitors. Keeping up to date with recruitment trends and changes is extremely important for businesses of all sizes.”

According to the research, other key factors deterring candidates away from companies are poor traits about the businesses themselves, including a bad reputation (9.5%), a high staff turnover (7.1%) and poor management (6.1%).

Biggins continues:

“Candidates can glean a first impression of a company within minutes and there are a range of platforms out there which job hunters can use to find out exactly what it’s like to work in a certain organisation. This can make or break a business: social media is a great branding tool for showing off what it’s like to work in your company, but can also be a platform for individuals to speak negatively about their experiences. Avoiding this by ensuring you have a strong, positive, employer brand, which is reflected throughout the recruitment process, is vital if you want to stay ahead in the hiring game.”

Least important to candidates was long working hours (2.9%), unfriendly colleagues (2.8%), lack of flexible work opportunities (1.6%) and poor brand awareness (1.4%), suggesting that the real challenge is keeping candidates happy throughout the recruitment process.


CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites, with the UK’s biggest database of over 12m CVs. The company was founded in 2000 as a response to Lee’s identification of a market niche. As a young carpet fitter at the time struggling to find work, Lee saw a need for an easy-to-use job board benefiting both job hunters and recruiters. With a £9k loan and help from a web developer, the CV-Library website was built. Lee’s raw passion and hands-on marketing strategies lifted the business off the ground and it is this that continues to push his company to new heights.

The business is now one of the fastest growing websites in the country. The team is expanding rapidly, now employing over 200 staff. It has also launched sister website, Resume Library, in the US, where the company is set to expand and take the brand global over the coming years. Lee puts the reason for his success down to working incredibly hard, loving what he does and a strong desire to make the business the best it can be.

Lee has received over 50 awards and accolades to date and was last year recognised as Entrepreneur of the Year. In April 2015 CV-Library was also ranked as number 49 in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100.


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