What Candidates Care About in a Post-COVID Work Environment - Glassdoor for Employers

What Candidates Care About in a Post-COVID Work Environment

The pandemic has reshaped the recruiting process, and every company has had to adjust in some way, shape, or form. But it's also important to realize that the pandemic has had an enormous impact on candidate priorities, too. According to reports from the World Economic Forum,  candidates have put work-life balance, flexibility, and mental health at the front-of-mind as they look to the future. 

As an employer, it's a critical time to study these changes and see what needs to be updated about compensation and benefits packages to make sure you're making the most compelling offer to your ideal candidates. But there's more to it than just the offer - you also need to make sure these new priorities are communicated through your employer brand. Employers that don't address these changes may find themselves struggling to appeal to candidates with outdated benefits or run the risk of losing out on perfect hires to another organization. 

Here is what candidates care about most after COVID-19:

Flexibility to achieve better work-life balance

Top talent will favor employers that offer some degree of flexibility in location or schedule. In fact, 41% of employees surveyed say they would be willing to take a job with a lower salary in exchange for a hybrid work model, and 47% say they would likely leave their job if one weren't offered. 

Flexibility is especially critical to the large percentage of employees who are caretakers of children or family members. Just consider that 3 million women dropped out of the workforce during the past year, which many analysts are interpreting to be the result of a lack of policies that enable people to balance caregiving responsibilities and work responsibilities.

The good news for employers is that flexible work has a positive effect on employee retention and engagement, with 80% of workers surveyed stating they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options. Companies can deliver the flexibility candidates desire by:

Performing a feasibility assessment to determine the positions that can support flexible work.

Training managers on how to work with remote employees and other flexible workers. 

Developing performance outcome metrics that apply to the entire organization and tracking productivity to reassure executives. More companies are shifting to a results-only work environment (ROWE) mindset, where employees are measured strictly by performance, results, or output, not by the hours they work or where the work is conducted.

Related: 3 Ways to Build a Company Culture That Supports Working Mothers

Alignment with values so they can feel more engaged

Top performing candidates are increasingly interested in working for employers who share their values and investing their time in companies where the organization's mission and purpose align with their personal beliefs. Candidates are making it a priority during their job search to look for organizations that share their values and check online reviews on sites such as Glassdoor to identify these companies and confirm whether the culture truly reflects their stated values.

For example, post-COVID-19, 33% of recruiters report receiving more questions from job seekers about D&I initiatives than they did in the previous year. Furthermore, the majority of job seekers say that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies, and D&I workplaces are able to earn more trust and a more significant commitment from their employees. This is especially true among younger employees, as 83% of those surveyed report feeling more engaged when they believe the organization they work for promotes an inclusive culture. 

Related: Where to Communicate your Employer Brand

Focus on well-being so they can thrive on and off the clock

Well-being is crucial for many employees, with more than 75% of employees indicating employee mental health is now a top priority. Increasingly, employees are placing a higher value on feeling safe, protected, and prepared across all areas of well-being, and 2 in 5 candidates say they would have liked more mental health support during COVID-19, regardless of whether the workplaces have existing support in place or not. 

Companies that offer holistic well-being support show candidates they value their mental health and well-being. Making employee mental health a priority creates a supportive environment that fosters engagement, leading to job satisfaction and higher productivity. 

Employers can attract candidates by communicating this through their employer brand, offering wellness benefits such as access to apps or other technology that can be used for well-being, time off for mental health, and resources where workers can get professional help. Senior management can also lead by example and model behaviors that promote well-being in the workplace. 

Related: How Managers Can Support Employee Mental Health

Companies need to understand what candidates truly want post-pandemic. Top candidates have even more options when it comes to where they work. Organizations that communicate their values, expand benefits that address overall well-being, allow for more flexibility, and develop policies and programs that make it possible for more women to return to the workforce post-pandemic will attract and retain quality talent candidates and strengthen their employer brand.

Glassdoor can help you connect with ideal candidates and turn them into great hires. Contact us to learn more.