Management & Leadership

What Do Candidates Want in 2024?

As you consider your recruiting and hiring strategy for 2024, you want to focus on understanding what prospective candidates want when joining a new company. In today’s complex employment market, unemployment remains low, and candidates have strong opinions about their “must-haves” when looking for a new job. Knowing what their top priorities are cannot only help you attract top talent to your organization but retain your current employees as well. 

From remote work to a strong benefits package to flexible schedule options to a positive company culture, organizations need to be ready with a plan to address candidates’ priorities in the job-seeking process. 

What Do Candidates Want from Employers in 2024? 

We need to plan for candidates’ expectations starting now. Naturally, the first priority for any candidate will likely be the job itself – is it the right fit for their career path? Beyond that, there are key factors employers can focus on to further increase the chances that the candidate you want to hire will have a favorable opinion about the opportunity.

Knowing what attracts talent and having the tools to retain great employees will be key to a good recruitment strategy and ensure the best for your teams. 

1. Candidates want better communication 

The candidate’s experience begins right when they apply for the role. Companies need to let candidates know they have received the application and when they should expect a response. Once the candidate starts the interview process, they should also be informed of how long the process is and what to expect during the process.

The more communicative and informative a company is, the better the experience will be. This will also help even if they don’t get the job as most individuals appreciate prompt answers so they can move on to other opportunities if needed. 

2. Flexible schedules will be important 

Perhaps more than ever, professionals understand the importance of work-life balance and are prioritizing their families and personal lives. Having flexible schedules is an important perk as families want to be able to tend to their children and relatives as well as maintain their health without worrying about being reprimanded at work.

Companies need to keep this in mind when designing their company policies to attract the talent they desire. 

3. Benefits – especially mental health – are a priority 

A robust benefits package is always a plus for candidates. Some companies are enhancing their suite of benefits with things like pet care and dependent care. One particularly critical area is mental health benefits.

According to The American Institute of Stress, 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress, with 25% saying their job is the number one stressor in their lives. In the post-pandemic world, candidates and professionals also want to prioritize their mental health. This means that they want to be a part of a work environment that values their employees, encourages taking care of your health, and wants candidates to manage their stress and avoid getting burnt out. 

4. Career advancement and growth 

Professionals want to join a company where they will have career advancement and growth where they work. They seek a challenge and want to be motivated to improve in their careers.

Employers should be able to offer learning opportunities and be open to their employees learning about new departments or projects, especially when there is interest shown.   

5. A personal touch when it comes to recruiting methods 

As AI becomes more mainstream in the recruitment process, you don’t want to lose the human touch that will ultimately be what the candidate will think about when interviewing with the company. Professionals will want to know about the culture and if they are the right fit for the work environment. These factors are not able to be clearly shared through AI.

However, when used wisely, it can help with consistent communication and keep conversations going during the process. 

6. Diversity and inclusion efforts 

Candidates know that a company that prioritizes diversity and inclusion is more innovative and open to everyone’s opinions. When you have a group of diverse people together, there are so many more ideas that arise through this strong foundation for collaboration.

Professionals will question a company’s diversity efforts and what initiatives are put in place to keep the work environment a safe space for all coworkers.

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