Top 3 things candidates look for when searching for a job

Posted on:

31st August 2023

When it comes to searching for a job, we all have our own unique set of priorities that shape our decision-making process. Whether it's the need for flexibility, a thirst for career progression, or a craving for attractive compensation, understanding what matters most is the key to finding the perfect fit

Linkedin reported in their global talent trends that due to inflation and an uncertain economy, priorities have changed. To find your candidates their perfect role and to stay ahead of the curve in the industry, it’s essential that you know what the priorities are, so let’s explore them.​

  • Compensation and benefits 

When it comes to attracting top talent, it should come as no surprise that compensation is a top priority for them. However, compensation isn't just limited to the base salary your candidates receive. It encompasses a wide range of rewards and benefits that they receive in return for their hard work.


In LinkedIn’s talent blog (which our Head of Talent, Hannah, features in!), they discuss how employers are providing more transparency to help set expectations for job seekers. No one wants to waste time going through a hiring process without fully understanding what they’re getting in return. From base salary, commission structure and quarterly bonuses, putting things into perspective and being completely transparent helps showcase what the candidate could get. 

At Austin International, we have interactive career tracks to help candidates visualise the path to success and make informed decisions about their future. This level of transparency is incredibly valuable to them as it allows them to understand the steps they need to take to reach their goals. By showcasing these career tracks, we empower our candidates to take ownership of their career development and make the most of the opportunities available.


Incentives are a great way to keep motivation levels and morale high. Think of amazing trips abroad, delicious lunches at fancy restaurants or fun activities. Even a bonus is always a welcome addition to the wallet! Being rewarded for great work outside of a standard salary can be the icing on the cake for many candidates. These attractive additions are part of the compensation package so be sure to highlight them.


Beyond just the salary, candidates often look for additional perks such as health insurance, cycle-to-work schemes, pensions, and other benefits that can positively impact their overall job satisfaction and quality of life. These offerings demonstrate that a company values its employees' well-being and is willing to invest in their long-term success. 

60% of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer so you should be sharing these with your candidates too.​

  • Balance and Flexibility

It may come as no surprise, but two priorities that significantly increased during the pandemic and still remain a top priority are balance and flexibility.


Gone are the days when you’d have to fit your personal life around your work life. People are now wanting a fair balance, and rightly so! According to Zippia, 77% of employees have experienced burnout at least once in their current jobs. So not only are they missing out on their personal lives, but it’s affecting their mental and physical health too. 

The same report from Zippia found that 72% of workers believe work-life balance is a very important factor when choosing a job, and 57% of job seekers say a poor work-life balance is a dealbreaker. As a recruitment consultant, it's important to encourage your clients to share with you what they do to promote healthy work-life balance.


Hybrid, remote jobs, part-time, WFH, flexi hours. All these buzzwords define flexibility differently to different people. Candidates want to know what the deal is when it comes to flexibility.

Recent data from Flexa Careers found that between April and June 2023, there was a 10% increase in the number of job seekers who expressed a preference for companies offering work-from-anywhere (WFA) schemes. In fact, a staggering 88% of all workers preferred WFA jobs during this period, marking the highest percentage recorded by the Index since its launch in July 2022. 

The same report also found that the demand for WFA roles saw a remarkable 120% surge, with one-third of all job seekers actively searching for such opportunities. Furthermore, there was a continuous month-on-month growth in the demand for fully remote roles, where workers are not required to come into the office. By June 2023, 59% of all workers expressed a preference for fully remote positions, indicating a 13% increase from April of the same year.

This is certainly a topic to discuss with your candidates to see what their preferences are and with your clients to see what they would be willing to offer.


Flexibility helps improve workplace equality and creates an inclusive culture by opening opportunities to more people. It helps parents fit work around their family, reduces the gender pay gap and supports people with health conditions, just to name a few ways.

Candidates want to be part of an inclusive culture where they’re celebrated for being themselves and employers want to create this culture for their people. According to data from Deloitte, 74% of millennial employees believe their organisation is more innovative when it has a culture of inclusion, and 47% actively look for diversity and inclusion when sizing up potential employers.

  • Upskilling

As Henry Ford once said - “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”

94% of workers said they’d stay at a company longer if their employers invested in their careers. If people don’t feel like they’re being invested in, then they’ll leave! And this is why learning and development is a top candidate priority.

Candidates are wanting the opportunity to learn new and highly desired skills. Not only will upskilling boost their long-term career opportunities but will also help them become even better at their job. When helping your candidates find their perfect role, remember that sometimes it’s not just fulfilling a short-term goal, but also finding a career with plenty of opportunity for growth.

One of the best things about being a recruitment consultant is the diversity of people you meet. And this includes their priorities! For one person, compensation may be top of the list but for another, it’s at the bottom. This is why building those relationships, digging deep and really getting to know your candidates will help you find their dream job. And if you’re the one looking for your dream job - check out our opportunities! ;-).