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What Candidates Are Really Looking For During The Great Reset



Today, we find ourselves in a completely transformed hiring climate where its become a candidate’s market. As a recruiter, I speak with hundreds of candidates a week. Here are a few things candidates are saying and thinking even before they consider applying for a role.


Hybrid and Remote Work is The New Normal - But Flexibility Is King.

Remote work is no longer the new normal, but the standard. Candidates expect some type of hybrid or remote work as a baseline for any new position or opportunity they are considering. But what they are really looking for are flexibility and work-life balance. Candidates not only expect the option to work remotely or in-office, but are placing more emphasis on work-life balance. This shift started with Millennials entering the workforce 15+ years ago, but became a priority during the pandemic. Candidates expect organizations to be flexible and mindful of their personal commitments, families, and time outside of the workplace and structure work around their lives. As long as the work gets completed on task and on time, flexibility is the real key to attracting and retaining talent.


Benefits That Support Today’s Societal Issues

As we emerge into a post-pandemic society, the Great Reshuffle has allowed for candidates to step back and assess what is important to them and what they value. This is not a new concept in terms of Employer Branding or the Employee Value Proposition (EVP), but now candidates expect a deeper commitment to shared values through employee benefits. The shifting stigma around mental health is one example of this. A few years ago, mental health benefits weren’t available to many employees through healthcare, let alone offered as a standalone benefit. Today, as candidates evaluate positions, an organization’s commitment and advocacy for their employees’ mental health and well-being remains a driving force in attracting top performers. Well-being and mental health is just one of the benefits that will need to return to the employer-employee relationship.


Increased Salary Expectations Due To Rising Inflation

In addition to creating benefits that support employee’s mental health - it is important to consider external financial impacts such as inflation. With inflation at an all time high of 9.1% in over 40 years, wages and salaries have struggled to keep pace. Average cost of living pay increases remain relatively low, and with salary spending power significantly decreasing, high-performers may begin to look elsewhere for a higher paying opportunity. Changing jobs often yields a salary increase and candidates are factoring inflation and rising living costs into their salary negotiations. In terms of retention, not all candidates will leave a job strictly for financial gain. Candidates know that a 9% raise or increase may not be financially feasible, but still expect recognition in terms of these societal impacts on their personal lives. This can come in the form of mid-year bonuses (based on performance), or recognition through tangible rewards such as gift cards for gas and transit, training, lunches, etc.


Better Management They Can Trust

Post-pandemic, many employees have decided to draw the line when it comes to performance with what is known as “Quiet Quitting”. Quiet Quitting refers to an employee deciding to satisfy the baseline expectations and responsibilities of their role and not going above and beyond to perform. This form of silent protest indicates that candidates and employees are frustrated with managers and don’t feel valued. Good managers will get results, but great managers respect, inspire, lead and motivate their direct reports. These leadership qualities stem from one common leadership trait, trust, including:

  • Having a positive and trustworthy relationship

  • Consistently delivering on promises

  • Demonstrating expert knowledge and seen as a trusted advisor

  • Mutual respect for one another

Candidates expect managers to value both their personal and professional lives and are seeking out managers and companies that they know they can trust and feel inspired to outperform.


The Candidate Experience Should Rival The Employee Experience

Candidates expect a highly personal level of interaction when it comes to recruitment including a seamless application and interview process. According to the 2022 Greenhouse Candidate Experience Report, more than 70% of job seekers said they will not submit a job application if it takes more than 15 minutes to complete. If a candidate begins to suspect your recruitment processes are outdated and disorganized, they will withdraw and likely not apply for future positions. Providing an exceptional candidate experience serves as a glimpse of how an organization treats its employees, and a candidate is more likely to remain engaged and pursue an opportunity.


Learn more about the candidate market and recruiting during the Great Reset by clicking here.


About The Author.


With over 10 years of experience in search and business operations, Julian is a highly diligent and efficient marketer and operations manager. He is a proven leader who combines creative thinking and strong communications with operational strategy, business development, recruitment operations, and digital marketing. Julian joined Chapel Hill Solutions to modernize the recruitment industry’s approach. He is passionate about creating a transparent and collaborative relationship with his clients.


Connect with Julian on LinkedIn.



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