Office Amenities and Work-Life Balance Not a Selling Point for Candidates

Finding top talent in today’s job market is no easy task. Frequent job-hopping has become the norm, and candidates hold significant leverage over companies given the continued growth of the economy and low unemployment. The bullish job market and heightened competition for top performers has inspired companies to offer better employee benefits and non-traditional perks to attract candidates and retain employees. But is that the best approach?

With memories of the last recession fading, employees are less anxious about finding and holding a job. Instead, they are hungry to pursue opportunities that enable them to build their expertise and curate their résumé, being selfish from a professional development perspective in a way we haven’t seen since the recession. So, in a time where competition for top talent is high, but employees also can afford to be more particular about their professional experiences, recruiters have their work cut out for them as jobs become more transactional than ever.

As Addison Group’s annual Workplace Survey on job seekers shows, companies face a new dynamic in meeting employees wants and needs.

PREMIUM CONTENT: North America Internal Staff Survey 2018: Initial Findings

Employees are motivated to look for a new job for any number of reasons, including boredom, desire for a change of scenery or a new challenge. It’s also to be expected that most of the already employed are at least passively job seeking. To give some perspective, seven out of 10 active job seekers surveyed – those individuals proactively sourcing new opportunities – indicated they were satisfied with their current jobs. Employees aren’t necessarily looking because they are unhappy; rather, they can keep their options open for the next opportunity that will advance their career.

So, while companies continue to push hard on their recruitment efforts, it’s time to examine what it takes to sell a position to a candidate, and it’s not the perks. A few findings from the survey that recruiters and organizations should consider:

  • Many workers indicate that the office lounge or pool table are more or less meaningless to them at work – 80% of active job seekers said they would be willing to sacrifice office amenities for a job.
  • Employees indicate that a fulfilling job that’s putting them in a position of success is worth more than work-life balance. More than 70% said they would be willing to work weekends and holidays for the right job.
  • Of course, salary is always a top motivator for employees to stay or leave, regardless of whether they like their job or not. However, a significant amount of the job market wants to be challenged in their jobs. Forty percent of job seekers are looking for fresh challenges in a new job, pointing to that fact that job seekers feel they need to be doing more in their career.

It’s also important to note that younger employees are the ones driving this shift in the workforce. The bulk of job seekers are typically younger and at the beginning of their career, thus more anxious about how they are advancing – almost 70% of millennials stated they felt they needed to be doing more to get where they want to be in the future. As such, we’re finding that the younger generations are creating a more transactional job market. Younger generations want opportunity to advance quickly, and if they aren’t getting the opportunity or recognition they believe they deserve, it’s likely they’ll make the jump to somewhere else. Employees are forging new paths to achieve career success, as many see the traditional career path their parents took no longer translating into the same level of success. They also aren’t letting some of the softer job “perks” get in the way of their goal.

Finding qualified candidates, and keeping them, will continue to be a challenge. And with 2018 set to be another banner year for the overall economy, at least from where we sit now, recruiters will continue to face headwinds. However, by understanding the professional desires of the top candidates out there, you will be able to source and sell them a job they need to get there.


MORE:  Thrive in a candidate-driven market

Hailey Canon

Hailey Canon
Hailey Canon is regional vice president of Addison Group's finance and accounting practice.

Hailey Canon

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