What Would Make You Stay? (2023 HERC Job Seeker Survey Results)

 Marketing Director   June 13, 2023  Job Seeker Survey

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What do job seekers think about working in higher education? For those already working in higher education, are they committed to staying or are they looking to leave? What can higher ed employers do to attract and keep employees?

Our annual job seeker survey aims to gain insight from current and potential employees in higher education and identify practical and effective strategies that employers can do to find, select, and retain staff and faculty.

As employers continue to work on their ability to shift talent and resources to tackle their most pressing workforce challenges, they face talent shortages and employee burnout. Based on the results of our 2023 HERC Job Seeker Survey, we published a report with insights and recommendations for HR, academic affairs, and diversity leaders to meet the needs and expectations of job seekers today.

Below, we highlight some of our survey findings and takeaways.

Who Responded

The survey had 1,572 respondents, who reported these demographics:

  • 70% hold master’s degrees or higher
  • 37% are people of color
  • 21% are individuals with disabilities
  • 11% are veterans
  • 64% are women; 35% are men
  • 17% are 22-32, 30% 33-43, 26% 44-54, 21% 55-65, and 5% 66-76 (under 22 and 77+ not shown due to low reporting)
  • 49% are staff/administrators, 29% faculty members, 8% are graduate students/postdocs, 14% are currently working as both staff/administrators and faculty members

Higher ed job seekers are looking across industries.

2023 HERC Job Seeker Survey Results: Are you currently looking for a new job?

The active job seeker market is very similar to last year. The same percentage of respondents (47%) were actively looking for a job this year compared to 2022. Only a slightly higher percentage reported possibly searching if the right opportunity was available (40% vs. 38%).

Of the 87% of survey respondents that noted they were actively or passively job searching, 65% were not exclusively seeking opportunities in higher education. Another revealing datapoint is that only 26% of 22-32-year-olds were focused on higher ed jobs only.

The higher education workforce does not feel connected and valued.

2023 HERC Job Seeker Survey Results: Feeling Connected and Valued at My Current Workplace

When asked if they agree or disagree with this statement, “I feel connected and valued at my current workplace,” 53% agreed, while 31% disagreed and 15% were unsure. When looking at what sector these respondents currently worked in, those working in colleges or universities had the lowest percentage agreeing with the statement (49%).

Diversity, equity, and inclusion remain a top priority.

The majority of minority & underrepresented (85%) and white (77%) respondents noted that diversity and inclusion policies were important to them. Having diverse leadership, addressing diversity and inclusion issues in the hiring process, and having a diverse staff currently are the top three indicators of an employer’s commitment to DEI according to minority and underrepresented respondents.

Your input about working in higher ed matters to us. Please participate in our monthly quick polls on LinkedIn (follow HERC on LinkedIn) and our annual job seeker survey (the next one will be in early 2024).