Oregon and Washington Job Seeker Report 2023 Highlights What Workers Want

Hiring is hard. It takes lots of time and effort to find the best people.

One of the best ways employers can hire well is to understand what job seekers want. Knowing what matters to applicants is also a good way to retain current employees because these insights can shape company policies to reflect what matters most to workers.

The need for understanding what employees care about has never been greater. A new report from Mac’s List says that many local professionals surveyed recently in Oregon and Washington are unhappy at work and looking for a new job.

This finding and steps employers can take to improve worker satisfaction and recruitment are outlined in the Oregon and Washington Job Seeker Report 2023, an annual publication from Mac’s List. It draws on a survey of 1,190 local professionals between June 26 and July 27, 2023. 

Whether you’re a seasoned HR leader or new to hiring, this report is your roadmap to attracting and recruiting the best talent.

Here’s what these local job seekers told us: 

Key Findings from the 2023 Mac’s List Job Seeker Survey:

  • Many Oregon and Washington professionals are unhappy at work. Despite record-low unemployment rates, on a scale of 1 as dissatisfied and 100 as very satisfied, respondents marked their satisfaction at 54. Factors cited by survey respondents include inadequate pay, burnout, cultural misalignment, and ineffective organizational leadership. Respondents also cited ageism, illness, disability, mental health challenges, and caregiving responsibilities as obstacles in their professional lives.
  • Most workers want a new job, will use multiple strategies to get it and think the job market is OK, good or great for candidates. A notable 36% of respondents actively seek new opportunities, while 43% are passively looking. When people start a job search, they don’t rely on online applications alone. Forty-five percent of respondents said they worked with recruiters, and 42% had used staffing agencies. Forty-three percent of job seekers described the job market as OK for candidates, with 38 percent calling it good or great. 
  • Workers know their value and salary expectations match what the market pays. Survey respondents generally expect yearly salaries of $50,000 to $100,000. These expectations align with market averages for Oregon and Washington. For employers, this underscores the importance of knowing and paying market wages and providing salary information when hiring. 
  • Money matters, but job seekers also want good benefits, cultural fit, work-life balance, and flexibility. Survey respondents ranked compensation second in six factors that matter when weighing a job offer. Number one was how a job fits with a candidate’s life. Culture fit, personal values, the hiring process, and flexibility were other factors mentioned. 
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Download the Oregon and Washington Job Seeker Report 2023

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