Top 5 Things Candidates Are Looking for in Today’s Job Market

"What percentage of workers want to spend at least one day working from home?"

B. 87%

COVID Changed Everything

We’ve been hiring sales professionals for a long time, so we feel qualified to say it: it has been a rollercoaster of a job market over the last three years. The COVID-19 pandemic upset the world order and caused workers across the globe to endure business shutdowns, neighborhood lockdowns, product shortages, and a general feeling of fear.

In 2020, when the world shut down due to COVID, companies across the U.S. laid off over 20 million people in March and April alone, and the pandemic was just beginning. Businesses of all types: from call centers, industrial parks and whole office buildings to restaurants, hotels, and bars, all employers had to ground their employees at home with no end in sight.

As the U.S. workforce watched the pandemic unfold from their couches, the entire U.S workforce thought about their futures.   And as the world came back online, companies of all types began to bring back employees, only to find that many didn’t want to return.

The government benefits that helped people through the tough times also allowed people to be more selective in returning to the workforce and caused businesses to kick up their offers to make them more attractive. From the middle of 2021 and into the beginning of 2022, the job market saw a great reshuffle, with candidates from Gen Z and Gen Y demanding more from their next employers, and many large companies are beginning to listen.

As the world gets back to normal, candidates are sensing their upper hand and using their value in the tight market to make more demands of their future employers.  

The Top 5  

The top five includes a few things that have always been important, along with a few new priorities for candidates:  

  1. Remote Work  
  1. Work/Life Balance  
  1. Money & Benefits  
  1. Growth Potential  
  1. Culture  

The New Normal  

The biggest thing candidates are looking for is remote work. The pandemic has taught us that work done in a cubicle in front of a computer can be done just as effectively from home in front of a computer. Whether it is the relief of not fighting rush hour traffic each day or not having to wear pants, remote opportunities are the number one trend in the workforce today.  

Me Time  

Not far behind and very similar is an employer who is flexible and provides a work/life balance to their employees. Too often, we hear from employed candidates looking to make a change because their current employer is too rigid and demanding. Many candidates cite long hours, dealing with disgruntled customers, and a general lack of consideration as big reasons for looking elsewhere. Companies whose roles and policies allow for schedule flexibility to “get the kids at 3 pm on Thursday,” for example, will find it easier to get top talent.  

Going Extra  

Of course, money and benefits have always been near the top of the list when deciding on a new career. Now more than ever, candidates are asking for extras, like a company car, paid medical, more PTO, and signing bonuses. And with the shortage of decent candidates, in order to be competitive businesses have had to adjust and pay more and give more.  

Where Do I Go from Here?  

Another big factor for candidates today is their growth potential. Companies need to provide a long-term vision to candidates and give them a sense of how they will grow in their role and within the organization. By giving candidates a peek at their futures, companies that provide a road map for growth are better positioned in the tight job market.  

Who are YOU?

Finally, Culture is a vital component in shaping a candidate’s decisions. How companies treat their employees and deal with an employee’s unexpected challenges will drive the attitude of their workforce. A company that demonstrates compassion, flexibility, and LOVE will foster a winning culture and become a sought-after place to work. Companies rooted in the status quo and “my way or the highway” will find it challenging to get average candidates.

Make Adjustments to Attract Great Employees  

With the job market being candidate-driven and not likely to change soon, companies of all types need to understand the top things candidates are looking for from employers. Remote Work, Flexibility, Good Pay, Benefits, Growth, and a Positive Culture are the biggest factors in choosing a new employer.

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Have any questions about what we can do for you? Looking to speak with a recruitment expert? Please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

My recruiter at ACA Talent intuitively knows what kinds of candidates I want to see, so I don’t have to see four candidates to get the one that I want.

- Field Sales Manager -

I spend zero time recruiting now that we’re working with ACA Talent. I don’t have to pound the pavement to find people.

- Route Sales Manager, Snack Food Brand

In the past, recruiting all fell on the sales manager’s shoulders. It used up so much of our time at the expense of running our business. ACA Talent has made it possible for me to focus on my job with little concern over manpower. It’s like pushing the “easy” button with them.

-Regional Sales Manager, Security Firm