What are candidates looking for in 2022?

Want to hire top talent? You need to identify and meet the intent of potential applicants - better and faster than the competition.

How can you guarantee the best candidates will accept your offer?  

We've answered your ‘need to know’ questions for recruiting in 2022. All answers are based on industry benchmarking and our own anecdotal information gained from constantly interacting with the selective candidates of today. 



Do candidates want remote working options?  

This one's easy - yes. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past two years, you'll know the pandemic completely rewrote the rule book on remote and flexible working policies.  


We found that in 2021, candidates rejected roles based on absence of flexible or remote working options. This year, we're hearing that this is still a dealbreaker, but individual attitudes have started to vary. Senior talent in particular seems to either want 'completely remote' or 'in the office, all the time'. Extreme ends of the spectrum!  


The logical thing for you to do as a recruiter is to ensure clients are aware that flexibility is absolutely key. Internal processes and digital infrastructure should be set up to empower new hires to work the way they prefer.  


This is the difference between snagging that star candidate and losing them to someone better prepared to compromise.  


Do candidates want higher salaries?  

Yes again! Skilled candidates are in demand. Scarcity and a long-awaited run on inflation is causing wages to surge, particularly in senior tech and transformation roles where experienced applicants were thin on the ground.  


If a client is struggling to attract top talent, despite offering full benefits and flexible working options - revisit salary expectations, or the job spec. Maybe they could settle for a stepper-upper with less experience. 


Anecdotally, we've seen unprecedented counteroffers of 10-15% pulling top talent back into their existing positions, and similar pay jumps from those choosing to move companies. 


Do candidates want job perks? 

Here's a twist - no. Millennials and Gen-Z have long been typecast as going gaga for nap pods, branded company swag, and Pizza Fridays.  


And while these perks can certainly contribute to a culture and environment for all employees to enjoy, it's not enough to win them over. Job seekers are looking for solid benefits packages, and as we mentioned before: salaries that reflect both their experience and the scarcity of their skillset.  


Clients need to think about offering training and professional development, as well as enhanced pension contributions, private health car, travel allowances or cars, eye test, etc.  


These benefits may feel like perks, but they've become so standard in many skilled sectors that choosing not to offer them could easily lower your client to second choice.  


Do candidates care about culture fit?  

More than ever, candidates are being picky about who they work with, and for. Younger employees especially want to feel empowered as their genuine selves at work - not having to 'put on a mask' or feel there is lack of support for personal issues.  


From the outset, clients should be as loud and authentic about their company culture as possible. This enables candidates to self-reject or approve based on their notion of the ideal working environment. It might seem counterintuitive if you're desperate to hire, but job seekers in 2022 are by and large interested in resonating with their employer's values and ethics on a personal level.  


Casting a wider net just lengthens the recruitment process and drags in people who, in the end, will not align with company goals and values. Narrow down that EVP early on and ensure your client is resonating with people on their wavelength. 


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