Survey: Money’s Not the Only Factor for Job Candidates

Careers
Posted By Terri Williams on August 9, 2017 at 10:37 am
Survey: Money’s Not the Only Factor for Job Candidates

To our readers: Today, GoodCall® examines American workers and what they think about jobs – and job offers. Earlier, Terri Williams reported on what employees report they need for job satisfaction. Now Terri looks at what’s important to job candidates around the world – and it’s not just money.

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Most companies have a preferred list of traits that they use when selecting among job candidates. But what about the job candidates themselves? It’s no longer sufficient to just dangle money in front of potential employees. Candidates also have a list of the employer traits that are important to them, and salary is just one component.

According to new report by Manpower Group, 40% of global job candidates rank job flexibility  in the top three most important factors when weighing job offers, and 45% of U.S. workers place it in the top three. However, the preferred type of flexibility varies by country:

Country Flexibility preference
United States Unlimited paid time off
Japan Choice of work shift
China Sabbaticals or career breaks
India Location independence
Netherlands Part-time work

 

While unlimited paid time off is the preferred type of flexibility in the U.S., it ranks dead last globally, behind flexible arrival and departure times, full-time work from home, choice in shifts, part-time work from home, compressed shifts/work week, sabbaticals or career breaks, and caregiving leaves.

Is unlimited paid time off unrealistic?

According to Robert Basso, president and founder of Advantage Payroll Services and author of The Everyday Entrepreneur, it is unrealistic to think that most small businesses can afford to offer unlimited paid time off.

“With many companies finding it hard enough to find sufficient people to fill open spots, even just a few people taking off when they want causes potential service issues for a company’s operations that will essentially affect its clients,” Basso says.

He also notes, “It is also not entirely clear if unlimited paid time off produces a better product or service for the client – and businesses exist to provide a product/service and make a profit for the stakeholders.” However, he stresses that employees are a company’s most important asset, since it’s impossible to serve clients without them.  When only 13% of U.S. employees are passionate about their jobs, it would be in an organization’s best interest to make the workplace more enjoyable to attract and retain the best workers.

“Being flexible with hours and work responsibilities are paramount to any thriving business, and the modern worker desires more autonomy and ability to create their schedule to serve their personal needs and lifestyles.” Basso recommends that managers and owners make attempts to create a good work environment, and this includes being as flexible as possible.

Why – and how – companies should adjust

Some companies may prefer a more traditional workplace where everyone is present and accounted for during regular business hours. However, the world of work is changing, and Basso says companies must adjust. “The key for managers and owners is balance and trust: owners must be generous and provide flexibility to workers, particularly younger workers who have different approaches and interest.”

However, he says smaller organizations might want to take baby steps before implementing any type of major changes.

Nicole Cahill, HR business partner at Insight Performance Inc., believes offering unlimited time off can attract better job candidates and demonstrate the company’s generosity, but she says companies need to have policies in place to regulate it. “For example, designate if paid time off benefits are available during employee leaves of absence: Employers that qualify to offer their employees Family Medical Leave (FMLA) or MA Parental Leave could end up paying up to 12 weeks of paid time off during an employee’s leave of absence without meaning to do so if they do not specify otherwise in a written policy.”

Cahill says that it’s important to create a flexible workplace culture. “This can help employees better meet the demands of work and home life while creating a better work-life balance, improving employee morale, and increasing retention.” She advises companies to consider the following types of flexible work arrangements:

  • Allow employees to choose where they do their job.
  • Give employees control over when their day starts and ends.
  • Allow employees to work reduced schedules while remaining in the same position or level, as dependent on work demands.
  • Offer flexibility over the course of an employee’s career, such as taking sabbaticals and returning to a comparable job.

Terri Williams
Terri Williams graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her education, career, and business articles have been featured on Yahoo! Education, U.S. News & World Report, The Houston Chronicle, and in the print edition of USA Today Special Edition. Terri is also a contributing author to "A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics," a book published by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.

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