Building Careers or Filling Jobs?

New Research Says the Answer Matters

Here at Relish Marketing, we’re always watching the latest research and trends having to do with how successful organizations present their employer value propositions (EVPs) to candidates and employees. And the latest research from multiple sources indicates highly compelling direction for employers seeking to attract and retain talent in today’s turbulent times. It all centers around the difference between just having a job and pursuing a career.

Jobs vs. Careers: What’s the difference?

Functionally, the difference between a job and a career is huge – for your employees and your business. Jobs are short-term, whereas careers are built over time. A job is a means to an end – something people do to earn money. A career is an end in and of itself. A job offers a checklist of to-dos. A career provides a sense of purpose.

Statistically, the difference is striking. According to a recent survey by The Harris Poll for CareerBuilder, 50 percent of all employees feel like they have careers, while 50 percent feel like they only have jobs. Likewise, approximately one-third of those surveyed expressed satisfaction with opportunities for career advancement at their companies, while about one third indicated a plan to change jobs within a year.

It’s an even balance – but according to the latest Manpower survey of 40,000 employers, these numbers should worry employers, 45 percent of whom are struggling to fill roles. They should look even more disturbing to large employers, 67 percent of whom have this problem.

Think of it this way: If you’re like most large employers (or nearly half of all businesses) you’re working hard to fill open positions at your company – but the results aren’t happening the way they should. Meanwhile, about a third of your employees are thinking of leaving within the year. And fully half of your employees do not come to work the sense of commitment, purpose and drive that your other half do.

Learn from successful companies – and the talent they attract  

A survey of the World’s Most Attractive Employers – companies where job candidates are flocking – highlights a critical differentiator. More than half of these star companies (54%) emphasize an “inspiring purpose” in their Employer Value Propositions. This distinctive characteristic shouldn’t come as a surprise, given a Universum survey of young professionals, in which Millennial and GenZ candidates rank “being dedicated to a cause” or “serving a greater good” as top career goals.

The Universum study also highlights a trend away from EVPs focused on formal professional development programs and following established career paths within a company. That’s because younger talent is shunning defined career ladders and formal training in favor of more fluid career journeys and on-the-job learning.

Take a Fresh Look at Your EVP

Your EVP matters more than ever before – especially to highly desirable young talent. It must authentically represent the experience of working at your company. And that experience should offer ways in which you help team members build their careers through intrinsic growth experiences and the ability to contribute to an inspiring purpose.