In Pursuit of Profit
Read our expert article below or sign up to get articles sent to your inbox.
2020 changed what employers are asking of their employees, which is why it is no surprise that employees have changed what they are looking for in their current and future employers as well. Understanding what applicants want is crucial because great hiring reduces turnover. Additionally, being in tune with what job seekers want gives your company an advantage in recruiting and hiring top talent.
With unemployment numbers continuing to fall, job seekers are back in the power seat as their needs in an employer continue to evolve in response to the pandemic-related work landscape. So, what do job seekers want these days?
The past year fundamentally changed what employees need to succeed now that they are working through new challenges and barriers like managing virtual learning for their children. Now that employees are used to the flexibility of working remotely, they overwhelmingly do not want to return to the office in the future.
A recent survey of job seekers revealed that 65% of job seekers want to work remotely full-time post-pandemic, while another 31% want a hybrid working option. That means 96% of people surveyed indicated they want at least some form of remote work.
We have seen similar sentiment in our conversations with job applicants. People are starting to make work-from-home (WFH) a requirement of future employers instead of just a preference, especially in mid-level positions. If a company requires employees to be in the office full-time, this is a nonstarter for many job seekers.
In fact, hiring data shows that “27% of workers say that the ability to work from home is so important to them that they are willing to take a 10% to 20% pay cut to work remotely. And, 81% say they would be more loyal to their employer if they had flexible work options.”
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
There is an increased push for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace these days, so employers are expected to embrace and emphasize this as a priority in recruiting, hiring, and promoting employees.
However, a focus on DE&I should not be approached with the mindset of “checking the box.” Instead, it should be viewed as a true commitment to creating a cultural foundation within an organization that represents all of us. As John Pensom explains,
Organizations need a comprehensive approach that looks at diversity, equity and inclusion across the organization… A commitment to enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, will lead to increased belonging within the organization. Not only does a culture focused on belonging feel great, it is also a driver for employee engagement, productivity, corporate reputation, attracting top talent, and business results.
Including all people is about creating a sense of belonging that is essential for employees to do their best work – touching everything from employee wellness to innovation to profitability. There is plenty of data that proves that diversity is good for business, but DE&I is not as simple launching a new HR initiative – it must be authentically fostered throughout the company.
Opportunities for Advancement
Top talent will look at what a company is offering today and tomorrow.
The best employees want to understand what kind of career advancement opportunities are available to them because they understand that they have the skillset, dedication, and willingness to learn that will allow them to take advantage of these opportunities when they arise. However, FlexJobs reminds us that discussing opportunities for advancement is a conversation that employers should have not only with job seekers but also new hires, when they say:
A positive onboarding experience includes outlining to them what’s expected of them, not just in the first few weeks on the job, but the first few months, and even the first year. Employees want to know what the future may hold for them at the company, so share with them what their potential career path is and what they need to do to advance themselves professionally.
A Sense of Purpose
Like all people, employees want a sense of purpose in the work that they do. Knowing that they will be recognized and appreciated for their hard work is a big selling point for job seekers. Highlight how employees are rewarded for their performance and valued for their ongoing contributions.
And while individual purpose is important, understanding how their work fits into the broader picture and helps the organization achieve its goals is also extremely important to job seekers. Understanding and conveying how an individual role fits into the broader puzzle is crucial for hiring the best candidates into each position.
It is no surprise that these desires align so well with common ways to improve employee retention because the same reassurances that job seekers are looking for when applying for jobs are the same things that keep them from looking elsewhere once they are in a job.
Hire a recruiting firm that understands what accounting and finance professionals are looking for in today’s employers.