How do candidates evaluate the job search and selection process?

CV-Online career portal conducted a survey, during which it sought to find out how potential candidates (with and without a job) evaluate the job search and selection process.

The main questions asked in the survey were: What is the intensity of job search by those who have a job and by those who don't? Where do candidates look for suitable job offers? What is important to them when choosing where to apply and why do they change their minds and discontinue participation in the selection?

The intensity of job search

According to the survey, 20% of the employed are actively looking for a new job, while the vast majority are passive job seekers. Passive job search means that it takes place irregularly, intermittently, without spending much time or attention. Passive candidates expect to be found and receive an attractive offer.

They are open to new and better job offers but are not disposed to take proactive steps. If a company focuses on employed persons, it should keep in mind that it may need to use a direct search for an employee and present a really tempting job offer in order to get the attention of such candidates.

According to the research, companies compete most for employed persons. 8% of those who have a job are not looking for another job, but companies find them and present them with offers.

30% of the unemployed are passive job seekers, and 7% are not looking for a job at all.

Channels used for job search

According to the survey, candidates use 3 channels on average to search for a job, and specialized career portals are the most popular of them. They are slightly more popular among the employed, while the Employment Service and FB are more popular among the unemployed. Those with and without a job are very similar in how they use references or apply directly to companies of interest.

Companies also mention finding employees through references as one of the most effective ways.

Specialized job search apps are much more popular among unemployed candidates, while LinkedIn is more popular among those who have a job.

What is important when choosing where to apply

On a scale from 1 to 5, the respondents evaluated the criteria as to how they are important or unimportant when choosing a job offer. Priority criteria for candidates are:

  • Good working conditions
  • Good remuneration package and higher salary

It is also important for candidates whether it is a suitable and interesting job for them, what is the reputation of the company and whether development and career opportunities are provided.

According to Motta Veiga, a Professor of Human Resource Management at EDHEC Business School in Paris, employees are trying to transfer their skills into industries where actually they can be respected, well-paid, and have more opportunities.

Candidates do not care so much about the type of the company's capital, although they prefer a private equity firm to a public company, and whether the advertisement looks good. The fact that the appearance of the job offer is not a particularly important criterion is also proven by the analysis of the most popular advertisements of the week performed by CV-Online. Most of the advertisements that attract a lot of attention from candidates do not stand out in terms of style, design, or originality. What is much more important for candidates is the content of the advertisement (optimal number of requirements, clear responsibilities) and the offered salary.

Respondents give priority to working closer to home over remote work.

Job seekers are also critical about their chances of getting a job, so it is important for them to meet all or most of the requirements stated in the job offer. The number of candidates is inversely proportional to the number of requirements, and it decreases where precise and specific requirements are set.

Why do candidates change their minds and discontinue participation in the selection?

The search and selection of personnel nowadays do not avoid "vanished" candidates, i.e. those who withdraw from further selection for the position they applied for. Every second candidate changes his or her mind and discontinues participation in the selection. Those who have a job are more likely to change their mind and discontinue participation in the selection because job change is riskier for them than for those without a job.

No wonder that out of 20 factors of refusal to participate in the further selection that was rated by the respondents, "I received a better offer" is number one. The second place is taken by "I found negative information about the company", which only confirms the attitude expressed by the candidates towards the importance of the company's reputation when choosing a future job.

The job interview also influences the candidate's decision, and the third most frequent reason for changing his or her mind about participating in the selection is "I changed my initial opinion about the company and the offered job after the job interview".

Reasons for withdrawal:

  1. I received a better offer
  2. I found negative information about the company
  3. I changed my initial opinion about the company and the offered job after the job interview
  4. I doubted my suitability for the job
  5. The company offered a lower salary than that indicated in the advertisement
  6. The selection took too long
  7. The company did not provide information about the progress of the selection and left me it in the dark
  8. The company offered a job different from what was written in the advertisement
  9. My views and values did not match those of the representative of the company
  10. The company contacted me too late, there was a breakdown in communication

From the top ten factors, we see that candidates want to be certain about their choice, and the accuracy of the information, the honesty of the company, and the duration of the selection process are important to them. It is easy to lose a candidate if the company offers a job and salary different from those described in the advertisement, if there is a breakdown in communication, if there the values do not match, or if the candidate doubts his or her suitability for the job.

Therefore, companies must take care not only of providing correct and accurate information in the job advertisement but also of ensuring timely communication and keeping in contact with the candidate.

Only 3% of candidates do not check information about the company. All others check it more or less frequently and in more than one source, while the most elementary option they use is searching for information about the company on Google. Other popular sources for checking information about a company are the company website, and information websites, such as and, collecting information from former or current employees of the company, FB, and LinkedIn.

Not only do companies collect and check information and references concerning an employee, but also candidates want to be certain that they are making the right decision and will not make a mistake by choosing one company or another.

In summary, the success of a search for an employee depends not only on the make-up of the market, but also on the company's reputation, an offer that meets market trends, and timely communication.


The survey was conducted online from 9 September to 16 October. The survey covered 917 respondents from all over Lithuania.