I deal with potential job-seekers every day. Some are desperate to leave their current employment situation, others are just scouting the horizon for the next great opportunity - there are thousands of different reasons why these candidates find themselves on the phone to a recruiter!
Most people believe that earning more money would be the number one consideration, but there is so much more to it than the bottom line! From my extensive conversations with hundreds of prospective employees, these are the common things candidates identify as important when seeking a new opportunity:
People are often looking for a place where they can learn, grow, and develop both as a person and as a professional. Career development is often the primary motivator for a candidate committing to an employer. The potential for career progression motivates employees to succeed, and the best employees are looking to make the most of their careers - whether that is progressing to lead projects, moving into a line role or aiming for c-suite. An employer who values their employees’ development will offer training opportunities, help pay for additional education and promote internally.
Key takeaway: Always ask potential employers about possible career growth, where you can expect to move within the company, and to provide concrete examples of how others have taken that path. As an employer, make sure you outline future career opportunities and give specific relevant examples.
These days we all have crazy lives and the advent of technology has just made us busier than ever, with more stresses and the need to juggle a social, family and professional lives. They want to know that there is flexibility with the job, so they can schedule an appointment or pick their kids up from school without feeling bad or dealing with pushback from middle-management. Many employers recognise this, and so offer the opportunity to work a 4 day week, or the occasional work from home day, in recognition of the fact that we all have a life outside of the workplace.
Key takeaway: In the long run, flexibility benefits employee and employer alike - employees can easily become burnt out if they are not given the opportunity to have a good work life balance. You may not need flexibility now, but down the track it may become important - on both sides!
9 times out of 10, a positive working culture is the number one thing candidates are looking for from their next employer. Culture is more than just taking employees out to lunch or having 4pm drinks on a Friday. An organisation’s culture and work environment plays a huge role in determining whether or not an employee will fit within the wider organisational ecosystem. A lot of the time the differentiator for an employer to make a final decision will be whether they fit the culture or not.
Key takeaway: It’s always recommended to meet as many people as possible within the business and team, to get a deep understanding of what the culture is like and whether it aligns with your needs in terms of happiness at work. As an employer, try taking prospective employees to a team lunch or get them to have a coffee with a couple of key team members.
An important and valuable characteristic that often gets overlooked is the importance of leadership and mentorship to a candidate. They often can find themselves more drawn to roles or employers who have strong leadership, or with greater potential to develop under a more impressive manager. Candidates are looking for employers who will enable them to succeed and grow, both as individuals and as professionals.
Key takeaway: It’s simple - better leaders develop better employees. Whether you are looking for a new job or a new employee, stress the leadership piece and test what the potential could be down the track.
In particular, candidates are becoming more and more interested in a company’s reputation in the market, including considerations such as environmental consciousness, ethical workforce sourcing, and sustainability practices, so it’s important that a company’s values aligns personally with your own. Another key factor is recognisability in the market; candidates considering an overseas future will want to consider whether the brand is globally known, and whether future potential employers will be impressed by their CV.
Key takeaway: Think about the broader context of an organisation’s priorities and values before committing to working there. From an employer perspective, make sure you clearly articulate your brand value proposition.
If you are considering your next career opportunity and want some assistance in finding an employer that meets the above criteria, please drop me a line on the below details.