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Career Priorities: Why you need to know what candidates really want from the workplace

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library


Though we often assume that money is the main incentive for getting up and going to work every day, recent research from CV-Library discovered that 81.9% of candidates would be willing to take a pay cut if it meant landing their dream job. While factors such as workplace perks, job titles and location were also considered, according to the research, job hunters placed career progression as most important to them; suggesting that the chance to move up the ladder is what’s driving today’s workforce.


For recruiters and businesses alike, it’s important that they are aware of what their employees’, and potential candidates’, career priorities are, so that they can attract and retain them with the incentives they want. Below, I explain why.


Motivation and productivity


Keeping staff happy, motivated and productive in the workplace can be a big investment for any business, but it’s one that is worth dedicating your time to. Working out what incentivises your staff is important. For example, if job satisfaction is the overall goal, higher salaries won’t necessarily equal higher levels of productivity. Asking staff what motivates them then means that you can begin to offer them the perks you know will keep them happy.


It’s no secret that a happy workforce is likely to be a more productive workforce, so it’s important to reward your staff for their hard work. With the majority of candidates saying that career progression was important to them, challenging your staff and offering them new and exciting career opportunities, could be just what they need.


Similarly, be sure to offer workplace perks; anything from social events to gym memberships, these extra benefits are highly valued by staff and are widely considered when making employment decisions.


Recruiting the best talent


This level of understanding needs to be applied to both existing, and potential staff. Despite recent economic uncertainty, our data tells us that candidates are continuing to battle for the best job opportunities, and many of them are searching with a strict set of career priorities in mind.


This means that organisations should make more of an effort during the recruitment process to understand exactly what potential recruits want, while also offering fair salaries, exciting workplace perks, and highlighting any opportunities for progression. It’s clear that job hunters are very passionate about their job search, and it’s important that businesses are able to understand and offer talented new recruits the benefits they’re looking for.


Retaining staff


Keeping your staff happy and offering them the opportunity to progress their career in your company means that as a business you’re more likely to retain a hardworking and loyal workforce, especially if you look to provide great training and development opportunities, which can enable them to move up the ladder within your company.


Misunderstanding what it is that your staff want could potentially lead to a higher rate of staff turnover, with employees feeling stuck or underappreciated. Retaining long standing members of staff not only cuts the cost of recruitment, but means you build a dedicated workforce.


Our research indicates just how seriously candidates are taking their job hunt, and helps employers to identify workers’ key priorities so that they can pull out all the stops to accommodate new recruits and keep motivating their existing staff to work hard. In today’s economic climate, this is more important than ever, especially if you want to say ahead of your competition. 

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