How the COVID-19 Pandemic has Changed What Candidates Want

Candidate expectations are changing, which makes sense given that the world is so different from before the corona virus pandemic. While the public health crisis won’t be here forever, its impact will likely be one that people will feel for many years, including in the talent market. Understanding candidates’ shifts in preferences from potential employers can help you to secure quality applicants. Here are three trends we are seeing:

Flexible Hours

A flexible work schedule refers to differing hours and/or days than the traditional Monday-Friday 9-5 work schedule. Alternative schedules are something that candidates consider to be highly important, as confirmed by a recent CNBC article. It could be candidates turn down your job to choose one elsewhere with better flexibility.

That means that supporting your employees by providing workplace flexibility can be a big factor in whether they accept the job offer and stay with your organization for a long time. As indicated by CNBC (previous link), people are turning down job offers daily if they don’t have flexible work arrangements.

Remote Work

Most people want to work remotely once the pandemic ends, as per Vox. As Vox points out, there is the risk of organizations not being able to fill positions if remote work is unavailable as talent might not apply for those openings.

As for why many candidates prefer the work-from-home experience, there are many possible reasons. Avoiding a long commute to the office by having a desk at home, for example, means less stress and better use of time.

Managing the hiring of remote workers is easier with automated software like that from Talcura. Automation can save your HR team significant time and energy when going through job applicants, scheduling video interviews, sending job offers and more. All of this while enabling HR professionals to stay connected with each other and candidates.

Increased Pay

A recent survey found that 41 percent of employees listed compensation and benefits at the top of their priority list. This employee demand applied most to those in the 55+ age group, with 49 percent of them expressing that competitive salary and benefits were a significant factor in their engagement.

Deciding whether to increase pay, though, involves companies weighing up any dips in sales against meeting what top talent expect from them for wages. During the pandemic, employers in many industries realized that their hourly workers were critical to their business continuing and keeping the economy going, as noted by SHRM.  

Higher pay may have also made some job openings more attractive to candidates who otherwise were happy to receive temporarily expanded unemployment benefits during the pandemic. Some companies may also consider pay using incentives that are fairly easy to pull back if needed.

The Changing Nature of Work

Clearly, the pandemic has pushed employers and employees to reevaluate their priorities. Remote work, flexible work arrangements, and higher pay are all growing demands among job candidates. Taking steps to cater to what the candidate wants can help your HR professionals attract more top talent.  

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