What employers need to understand about today's candidate 2022

Job seekers today are playing by a whole new set of rules. As the market becomes increasingly candidate driven with a drive towards more employer brand transparency, candidates are rapidly transforming the future of the workplace and their expectations from employers, causing organisations to adapt and respond to the way they attract, hire and retain high quality talent. Below we list some of the critical points that must be understood about today’s job seekers.

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Today’s candidate...

Is in control

One of the biggest challenges in talent acquisition is that candidates now have greater control over their future career direction. A ‘candidate driven market’ has emerged as a result of the pandemic recovery, with the number of job vacancies reaching record highs and now greatly outnumbering the level of applicants, leading to a shifting of power away from employers. Candidates now have greater ability to dictate where they want to work and what they want from employers. Salary, company benefits, and career development plans are all aspects candidates now have greater control over and hiring companies need to adapt to meet their requirements, or they risk losing top talent to competition.

Is on the move

A job is no longer for life, and an ‘always on’ digital culture accelerates talent movement, as professionals are constantly aware of other opportunities. ‘The Great Resignation’ became an infamous concept in the jobs market last year, and 2022 looks no different. Our recent LinkedIn poll highlighted how 57% of surveyed professionals are actively looking for a new job, likely driven by nearly 4 in 5 employed job seekers believing they can achieve a higher salary by job switching. This attitude is especially strong among ‘Generation Z’, who are predicted to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025. 25% of them hope or plan to leave their employer within the coming months, compared to 23% of millennials, 18% Gen X and 12% of boomers.

Seeks flexibility

If there’s one key takeaway from the pandemic’s effect on the workplace, it’s arguably the importance of a hybrid working environment. 83% of workers prefer a flexible working structure, and 76% of employees are now more likely to prioritise lifestyle over work proximity. Today’s candidate wants freedom over location and working hours and there is a greater demand for a healthier work-life balance. With 63% of high-revenue growth companies embracing a hybrid environment and 69% of negative or no growth companies rejecting the concept, it’s clear that implementing this idea has a positive impact on company performance. Furthermore, companies who are actively offering this to employees are more likely to be at an advantage when it comes to employee turnover. Almost 1 in 3 workers report flexible working is an encouragement to remain at their current company, signalling the importance of implementing such policies to help combat ‘The Great Resignation’ and create a happier and more productive workforce.

Looking for transparency

For today’s candidate, the transitional incentives of salary and company benefits are becoming less valuable, with employer brand transparency becoming a focus. 75% of people evaluate the companies employer brand before applying for a job to determine their mission, values, and purpose, to decide whether these are aligned to them as an individual and if they would fit in culturally. Some of the most important aspects they are looking for from potential employers are diversity and inclusion, environmental responsibility, and sustainability. They don’t want to be ‘greenwashed’ by employers but are looking for transparency around how companies are committed to these causes and what they are doing that sets them apart from competitors.

Driven by purpose

Linked to employer brand transparency, working for an organisation that is driven by purpose is becoming an increasing requirement for today's candidate. By definition, a purpose-driven organisation "stands for and takes action on something bigger than its products and services." Our 2021 People Agenda Survey highlighted how 87% of candidates believed that choosing a purpose led organisation will be a key consideration when choosing their next employer. But simply stating your purpose is no longer enough. Candidates want to see the active steps companies are taking to deliver what they promise, so they can decide whether potential employers are strongly aligned to the type of organisation they are seeking to work for. For organisations wanting to attract the best talent in a competitive marketplace, having a clearly defined and actioned purpose is now a fundamental requirement.

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