Most common job seekers’ non-negotiables

By Chris Devonshire | 10th July 2022

With job seekers in such a strong position in the job market, what are the most common job seekers’ non-negotiables we’re seeing?

Salary is still one of the top priorities for job seekers when considering a new role. But it’s no longer the sweetener to convince candidates. From flexible working and career progression to structured development and values, candidates want more. And we can’t blame them.

What are job seekers asking for?

If attraction and retention are your primary goals, here’s what you need to consider.

We’ve listed the top five most common job seekers’ non-negotiables we’re seeing right now.

  1. Flexible working

If you don’t yet have a flexible working policy in place, what are you waiting for? Surely the last two years has taught us that being office bound five days a week does not equal larger profit margins. If anything, the opposite can be said. Trust in your employees to get the job done while offering the flexibility to manage the challenges of home life.

  1. Have purpose

80% of UK workers believe their employer have a responsibility to take action on the environment. Job seekers want to work in a company whose values and mission statement include a giving component that benefits society and are openly designed to promote good. Becoming an employer of choice is more than what you offer, it’s what you do.

  1. Professional development

Job seekers want a company culture that promotes and supports professional development Professional development opportunities works towards fostering employee retention, particularly when there’s a clear path to grow and learn within the business and have a positive impact in the future.

  1. Health & wellbeing

Do we even need to explain this? The global pandemic has taken its toll on all of us, in different ways. And the impact on mental health in years to come has a big question mark over it. Benefits packages need to include robust mental health and wellbeing initiatives to support not only employees’ physical health but their mental health too.

  1. Tools & resources

With a huge number of ‘how-to’ resources readily available online, people are used to having all the tools they need, when they need them, at their fingertips. It’s no surprise then that top talent expects the same immediate access to impactful tools and learning resources to do the job right and excel. It’s the employers’ responsibility to ensure exactly that.

Why do employers need to listen?

The hiring market is hot right now. And when anything is hot, competition is fierce. Getting top talent to take notice of your opportunities takes more than market rate salaries and doughnuts.

Just like employers, job seekers conduct their own due diligence on a potential employer. Which means that ‘the sell’ needs to match the reality. Finding out about an employer brand is as simple as 1,2, Google.

No point advertising a Ferrari when it’s a Skoda under the hood (no reflection on either car – simply an analogy ?) But, if you want a Ferrari and it drives like a Skoda, it won’t take long before you’re back on the market looking for the real deal, whilst telling everyone you know, what a scammer that dealer was. #damagingemployerbrand

What do employers need to do?

What do employees need to do to keep the top talent engaged during the interest and interview phase and beyond? Particularly while attraction and retention is not only a money saving device, it’s imperative to a growing and sustainable business model for the future.

  1. Efficient interviewing

One of the main challenges hiring companies fail to address, when it comes to losing out on top tier candidates, is the hiring process. Most importantly, clarity and speed. A superfast way to lose candidate interest is to have an unnecessary drawn-out process with little communication at the critical offer stage. Why would a candidate wait around for employers who can’t make a decision, when they have such choice? Keep communication lines open and consistent, and make sure the process is transparent and structured.

  1. Benefits and development

Knowing what to offer is difficult, we get it. Many people want different things. What is prevalent amongst job seekers’ non-negotiables are the opportunity to grow and develop their skills, and joining an organisation that is aligned to their values, and actively impacts the environment. Make those your top priorities today.

  1. Pay people on their skills

Maintaining your hiring budget at all costs serves no one. Salaries are on the rise. Therefore, budgets may need to be adjusted to reflect salaries that are not only competitive, but are in line with the skills sought. With the cost-of-living increase, compensation is a primary concern for individuals. We have seen many companies offering an unpromoted (and unrelated to performance) salary increase, simply to support employees during these challenging times. A short-term increase in outgoings for an employer yes, but a long-term benefit of retaining your top talent, and reducing your continuing (and mounting) hiring costs.

  1. Brand reputation

According to Glassdoor, 84% of candidates would consider leaving their current employer if another company with an excellent reputation offered them a role. Brand reputation not only attracts job seekers, but strengthens your chances of getting great talent on board. Does your online presence reflect the positive employee reputation that you’re selling? Because potential employees use online tools to research you, as much as you do them.

Struggling to secure top talent?

Recruiters aren’t struggling to find the top talent. In fact, employers hire recruiters because they are so well connected. But, if employers aren’t listening to the advice of recruiters on what job seekers want, their hiring numbers simply won’t improve.

From addressing hiring budgets to innovative was to improve employer brand, recruiters are now strategic advisors to hiring organisations looking to secure top talent fast.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Talk to our IT recruiters today to discuss your hiring requirements and together, we will formulate a clear plan to achieve hiring success.

Chris Devonshire

Co-founder at Devonshire Hayes