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What do candidates want from a job?

ALEX LAMONT • 15 Aug 2022

1 - Candidates want home-based and flexible working
2 - Candidates want promotion opportunities
3 - Candidates want better benefits
4 - Candidates want a clear ED&I policy
5 - Candidates want transparency

Only 20% of candidates are looking for work due to unemploymentaccording to our latest Talent Intelligence Market Report. This means that the vast majority of candidates are looking for jobs that satisfy and fulfil their needs, rather than out of necessity. With the cost-of-living crisis predicted to get worse, salary is going to be a defining factor in hiring the best talent, but what else do candidates want?

Let’s look at what candidates told us, and what you can do about it.

Candidates want home-based and flexible working

Those job seeking to acquire home-based or flexible working as their main reason for job seeking fell from 13% to 10%. However, 48% of those surveyed said home or flexible working was important or very important to them when choosing their next job. This is still a priority for jobseekers.

Post (4)-2Many organisations have started phasing back into the office, with the option of flexible working available to those it would suit best. This is the strategy we’ve employed at Jobtrain so we can remain transparent and flexible while retaining our strong company culture. One or two days in the office is a solid compromise.

For some workers, a warm place to work means they won’t need to pay for heating during the cold months. However for others, the distance to travel might be vast, so you’ll want to give the option for them to work from home so they’re not struggling to keep up with travel costs.

Candidates want promotion opportunities

20% of candidates are prioritizing promotion opportunities, and 29% are looking for a career change. This is a 9% increase since 2021! If you want to retain staff, consider where the ceiling is for promotion in your business. Are there traditional requirements for a managerial role that are no longer relevant? Consider changing them! Are there opportunities for internal mobility across the departments? This would open up the chance of promotion outside of current departments!

Below is a video from Indeed that walks through each step of the creating a brand new role, so if you have a valued team members that’s looking for a promotion, the steps outlined might be useful!


Candidates want better benefits

15% of candidates stated they were looking for better employee benefits. This is up from 14% last year! What’s understood as “employee benefits” might vary as it’s an umbrella term. Especially with the rise in inflation, some employees might mean salary when describing employee benefits.

This is a cross-sector issue. A few workers in high-paid jobs have enjoyed higher bonuses and pay rises. According to Deloitte, FTSE 100 CEOs have risen to pre-pandemic salaries this year. However according to David Spencer, Professor of Economics and Political Economy at the University of Leeds, this certainly isn’t the case everywhere.

“More than a fifth of workers are struggling to afford the things they need to live. For them, the cost-of-living crisis is not some hackneyed political slogan but a fact of life. It spells real hardship. Its resolution calls for a rethinking of policies towards inflation and indeed the economy more generally.”

The reality is workers will be prioritizing their wage the further into the cost-of-living crisis we get – and there are currently 15% of candidates who might just be looking for more financial stability!

Candidates want a clear equality, diversity & inclusion policy

92% of candidates believe a company’s ED&I policy and practices are important or very important when choosing a new company to work for. We discussed how to implement a robust Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion strategy in our webinar with Michelle Brown at VERCIDA. Using your applicant tracking system to remove unconscious bias from the recruitment process is just the starting point.

Watch our webinar on Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

If you’re proud of your ED&I strategy, start shouting about it from the rooftops! Incorporate it into your Employee Value Proposition, offer it as an attachment during the recruiting process, and mention it in job adverts!

Candidates want transparency

41% of candidates say a job advert that closely matches their search specifications will get an application from them. A further 24% say that the content of the job advert itself will be a defining factor when deciding if they’re going to invest time in your application. That’s 65% of candidates that are prioritizing a clear salary range, working hours, and unambiguous expectations.

JobBrain Stats-2Don’t just cut and paste from the job specification. Take time to treat your job advert like a product you’re selling. Convince the candidate it meets their desires. A job advert that brings in candidates needs to bring to life the role, culture, and be unambiguous about salary.