As a recruiter, I speak with candidates every day about their reasons for leaving a job, and their reasons for staying. I also speak with Hiring Managers and Talent Acquisition Specialists about the challenges of hiring good candidates and about employee retention. Hearing from both sides, I often see a clear disconnect in what is important to candidates and what is required by the Hiring Managers.
Quality of life (work/life balance) is now much more of a priority for candidates, but many Hiring Managers are feeling the effects of a tight market and are scrambling to get the work done with fewer employees. This affects work/life balance, and employees who feel overworked are much more likely to be open to new opportunities. In fact, a recent study by ADP revealed that 25% of employees are currently looking or open to hearing about potential opportunities.
The last 2 ½ years have taught us to be resilient and allowed many people to have more autonomy in their work life. It has also given many workers more time to enjoy life without a commute, and some flexibility during the workday to pick up children at the bus stop, toss in a load of laundry or fit in a lunchtime workout. As a recruiter at DW Simpson, I’ve found many candidates have embraced this lifestyle and are reticent to return to the office. For those who commute to New York City where the average commute is 40 minutes each way; this equals over 9 hours of commuting time each week – that’s nearly 19 days per year! It’s no surprise that people are balking at returning to the office!
Over the last year some of the top priorities for candidates have been:
- Remote work opportunities, hybrid work week, or 4-day work week.
- Compensation – Candidates are looking for pay increases!
- Positions that require a 60-hour work week versus a 40-hour work week will have an expectation of increased compensation.
- Retaining employees means being considerate of internal equity when hiring, and salaried workers expect increases when they take on additional workload/hours.
- Corporate values, including diversity and inclusion.
- Companies must show results, not just intentions.
- A supportive environment for employees dealing with increased stress caused by added responsibilities and overtime.
- Overall, work/life balance may be the ultimate perk for candidates.
During the interview process, it’s best to manage expectations by addressing issues such as overtime and work/life balance. If your company can’t accommodate remote work or work/life balance, the candidate with a strong entrepreneurial spirit looking to move up quickly could be a better fit.
This information can be used as a tool to make your jobs more enticing to candidates who may have multiple offers, and it can also help retain your current staff. Being open to remote or hybrid arrangements will attract a much larger pool of strong candidates; and listening to the needs of our changing workforce will help you to hire the best candidates and retain your current employees.