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Three things besides a competitive salary that job seekers look for in a new role

Back in the day (look at me acting like I’ve built a wealth of knowledge through a long and fruitful life – I’m 24…) it was seen as the norm to stay with a company for 20+ years and retire with your strong devotion to the business in check, but long gone are those days.

In a social media age, where you can blink and have a three-course meal, a rental car and half of ASOS delivered to your door, everyone has their eyes peeled for the next best thing.

A great pension used to be a big driver in staff retention and longevity. Now, I don’t want to stereotype, but pensions were probably a way bigger focus for baby boomers than they are for millennials, in fact, I’m not sure a lot of us fully understand what constitutes as a good pension and regularly stare at the Super section of their bank account and wonder why their wages are being 'stolen' away from them.

We’ve become a culture of I-want-it-and-I-want-it-now, and I don’t mean to speak on behalf of everyone else, but the ‘bigger picture’ and ‘long-term’ goals for me need to be achievable within the next 3-5 years. I’m not thinking about where I’ll be in 20. Maybe that’s a mistake, but for me, that’s ‘future Jo’s problem’.

For employers, this means to retain the best of the best, you need to offer more than just Salary + Super. In fact, more often than not, candidates are saying that salary is no longer the most important part of their working life.

I’d say that there are three ongoing categories that candidates focus on when they’re looking for a new role, besides salary. These are:


We’re not necessarily talking, a ping-pong table and getting wild on a Friday night, but simply having an environment where you’re working alongside like-minded people.

For some people, yes, the end of month drinks are a huge factor in job satisfaction, but for others, it’s having supportive colleagues. It’s having the ability to be yourself. Being acknowledged and praised for doing a good job.

Most people spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week at work. You’re surrounded by the same people during that time. That team fit, that company hierarchy, that job satisfaction has to be on point, because it’s a candidates market. There are many other doors just waiting to be opened, and if an employer isn’t working on a good culture, you’d better believe that employee is looking for someone who will.

Work-Life Balance

Raise your hand if you have friends and family. Okay, so none of you probably physically raised your hand but let’s be honest, everyone has places to be and people to see outside of the office. Another point to note is that huge amounts of companies run on cloud-based platforms. Why would an employer not be harnessing this ‘access anywhere’ technology, and using that to help out employees where possible?

Good workers that prove themselves, alongside a platform that allows them to work from home gives real flexibility and job satisfaction. 

Need to wait around for the handyman who will ‘be there any time between 7 am and midnight’? (Yeah, we all know that painful time bracket) It’s a real added bonus to be given the chance to not have to take this as a day of leave if possible.

Allowing your staff to have this flexibility shows that there is real trust there. At the end of the day, we are all human, and life happens, and if an employee feels trusted, they’re more likely to respect the leadership, and quite frankly, not take liberties. 

Growth (Personal & Professional Development)

Not everyone wants to be a leader. A successful career does not look the same for everyone. 

For some it may well be, managing a small team, growing to become a senior leader, director etc. For others it may well be, developing their own toolkit. Treat every employee as an individual and work with them to say ‘hey, what do you enjoy? What do you want to be able to achieve that maybe you can’t already do?’ ‘What does success look like to you?’ and tailor a development plan to help reach that goal.

Just because you’ve hired two people for the same role, it doesn’t mean their motives and goals are the same.

I think the bottom line is, if companies want to secure the best talent, they have to really be putting themselves out there as a company that is attractive on a deeper level. There are roles out there now that didn’t exist 5-10 years ago, times are changing and companies need to change with it to retain their staff. 

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