Why are people exploring new jobs?
Google Search queries for “job application” have risen by 100% year over year since 2020. Searches for “work life balance,” “follow up email after an interview,” and “how to write a resignation letter” have also increased. Join members of Google’s Ads Research and Insights team as they explore these trends and pluck out the most relevant takeaways for today’s marketer.
Ashley: Why has interest in job applications increased by 100% year over year? And why are searches for “work life balance” and “follow up after an interview” rising so dramatically? Join us to explore what’s happening.
Once a month, a group of data analysts and marketers get together to explore the most recent trends in Google Search.
The Insights Jam team includes Nina Taniguchi, consumer insights manager; Casey Fictum, product marketing manager; Dan Trovato, data insights manager; and me, Ashley Wells, consumer insights manager.
Welcome to the Insights Jam. I’m Ashley, and I’m here with my fellow data enthusiasts: Nina, Casey, and Dan. Hey, guys.
Nina: Hey, Ashley.
Casey: Hey, Ashley.
Ashley: The theme we’re covering today is exploring new jobs. Google Search queries have shown us this month that Google Searches for “job application” have grown globally by over 100% year over year.
Dan, any thoughts as to why we’re seeing this growth?
Dan: Yeah. As the data guy, I have to take a minute and just talk about this growth for a second, OK? This — people have been searching for jobs. They searched for jobs last year, but the search demand that we’ve seen has actually doubled. So, I mean, just kind of thinking about that and letting that settle in, that’s huge growth versus last year.
And I think what we’re seeing is a huge demand for people to enter the workforce — both for the first time or possibly reentering after the disruption from COVID.
Nina: Yeah, I think that’s really interesting, Dan. And maybe just to build on that and zoom out a little bit further, I think more generally the pandemic has really given people reason to either kind of reevaluate their situation, and then think about, is this really what I want to be doing with my life? And, therefore, they embark on a new career. Or, on a more negative side, people are being forced to search for new jobs because they’ve lost their jobs. So I think there’s a lot of disruption happening right now because of the pandemic.
Casey: One of the things that comes to mind for me is the convergence of this and other trends that we see. I try to do that a lot in these sessions, where you see one trend and you can converge it with another, and now all of a sudden it’s relevant to your business. So if I were a mental health service, I would be considering that — to Nina’s point — this is a big life change for a lot of people. Ramping up in a new career, applying for careers, is a pretty mentally taxing task.
Ashley: Yeah, thanks Casey. And, building off of that idea of mental health is also you know that marketers have to keep in mind that consumers are just resilient. That actually brings us to our next data point, which is that we’ve seen Google Searches for “work life balance” grow globally by 40% year over year.
Any surprises there?
Nina: It’s really interesting when you look at the top searches, including this term. You have things like “work life balance meaning” or “what is work life balance?” So initially, I would have thought people would be searching for how to achieve work-life balance, but, instead, they’re looking for what it means to begin with. And I think with the pandemic, that maybe caused the goalposts to shift.
Dan: Yeah. That’s a good point, Nina. I think COVID has made us all rethink our relationship to work and what’s important. And for those of us like me, with young kids, like how could you not reevaluate what’s important when you’re trying to watch a young kid and trying to work from home at the same time?
But I think something for marketers to keep in mind is, as we’ve seen this huge demand from work-from-home jobs, a lot of employees have yet to figure out how to protect their own personal time when they’re working from home.
And so, there’s clear implications for a lot of marketers, but I think marketers from all industries can take away that people’s mental health has really become top of mind, and their patience for irrelevant marketing and messages is very short.
Ashley: I want to take a step back and revisit something that you mentioned before, Nina, when talking through some of the top examples. It was, you mentioned it was more about trying to understand what the work-life balance is rather than, kind of, how to achieve that. And I think one question that comes to mind for me is now that a lot of children have returned back to school, a lot of companies are offering the opportunity for employees to go back into the office. Are consumers potentially going to have to rethink, yet again, what it means for work-life balance and how to achieve that? And if that’s something that marketers can potentially get ahead of, that curve, within the next few months, as we think about folks really adjusting to kind of getting back into the flow of things.
Casey: Yeah, there’s nothing cooler for a marketer and a design team, like experienced designers, to then — a new cultural moment, a new cultural movement, something new to work with that becomes a brand new canvas. So to your point, Ashley, on rethinking that or having that opportunity, we saw a lot of that not too long ago when the pandemic started. I think now it’s worn off a bit.
If I see another example of mixing work and life on a video call — somebody sitting there and something happens in the background that is presumably goofy, that now we all just kind of ... I mean, maybe people are still laughing at it. You know what, for me, trying to create something new, I don’t want to create that ad again.
We want to think about what has truly that work-life balance now become.
Nina: If I could just add one thing. Something you said, Casey, about things changing and work-life balance looking different now. As a researcher, for marketers to also just remain curious. And whether it’s using Google Trends or doing their own research, to continue to ask those questions of how people’s lives are changing, because we’re all experiencing it together.
Ashley: Yeah. No, really, really strong build there, Nina and Casey. Thanks for that. That takes us to our final data point. So again, this month we’ve seen that Google Searches for “follow up email after an interview” have grown globally by over 100% year over year. So, another one of those — we’re seeing pretty strong growth. Thoughts on what’s driving that?
Dan: Does anybody know what the fastest growing city in the world is? It’s Dublin. Because it keeps on Dublin.
Casey: Oh my God.
Nina: Oh, Dan.
Nina: Did you just come up with that?
Ashley: This is why.
Casey: This wasn’t in my contract.
Dan: All right, that was really bad. OK.
Casey: This wasn’t in my contract.
Dan: That was really bad.
Casey: I shouldn’t be subjected to such nonsense.
Dan: Look, OK. That was really bad. But look, we’ve got another Google Search trend here that’s doubled over the past year. And it’s another one that people have searched for a ton last year.
So the fact that it’s grown this much is, again, really, really significant. And I think with so much of the job search and interview process having moved to digital, every candidate is trying to figure out: How do I stand out from the crowd? You know, every touchpoint with potential hirers is even more important, right, to show your true self to employers and your skills. And I think people come to Google to ask for advice all the time, but especially when the stakes are high.
And so, for a lot of people at this time, this is one of the highest stakes things that they can do. How do I move to a career that’s more fulfilling for me? How do I find a job after, being let go after COVID disrupted my career? And there’s obvious implications for job search sites and career research portals, things like that. But Casey’s got really strong opinions on this one too.
Casey: I do. You can see it on my face.
Dan: I can see it, yeah.
Casey: I absolutely do. And I was going to say, there’s intent is — this is where intent matters. And this is also where I get a little scared, for especially a marketer reading, if we publish insights like this and don’t put some of that intent and context around it. Follow-up emails, people are going to be looking for examples. I’m guessing that’s where this term goes.
I’ll be interested to hear that, but if it is going that way, in terms of context and intent, that is not very personal and personality is what you want in a follow-up email.
Ashley: I think a common theme between both what you mentioned, Casey, and what you mentioned, Dan, is that there’s this element of personification. There’s this element of being able to showcase who you really are, which we all know is a challenge to do through a screen.
So to see increases in search for things like follow-up emails, for example, like we’re seeing in this trend, is really, really impactful because it shows that there’s a gap there.
Nina: Yeah, I think these are all really great points. And what I found really interesting is when we looked in more detail at what exactly people were typing into the search bar with these follow-up emails, it was things like: “follow up email after interview status” or “second follow up email after interview.” So searches like that make me think that people are likely feeling anxious and impatient. I know I did when I was applying for this job and all jobs. And so I think beyond enabling applicants to stand out and show their personality throughout the hiring process, I think marketers and employers have an opportunity to think about how they can further reassure people applying for jobs.
Casey: Yeah, and this is why I love jams. Because I can go on a rant for a little while, and Nina can tell me I’m completely wrong. I mean, Google Search is such a beautiful thing because it is truly like human intent that you’re looking at in words, and then trying to get to the bottom of it. And we have the tools to do that, but that’s why jams are fun — because we can go back and forth on that.
Dan: They said we couldn’t make follow-up emails sound interesting for five minutes, but we proved them wrong
Ashley: I was going to ask if Dan had a closing data joke, but I think that sealed the deal. So, well, that’s the last word for us, guys. Thanks so much for joining, team, always. Thanks so much.
Thank you for joining our Insights Jam. If you like what you see and these discussions, subscribe to get more great Think with Google YouTube content. Until next time, you keep searching, and we’ll keep exploring what it all means.