In 2020, life as we know it was completely turned upside down. Everything we knew about our careers, hiring, and job searching changed on a dime. Now that things are finally stabilizing, we realize how much we’ve been permanently affected. The job market is picking back up and becoming increasingly competitive for highly qualified candidates. And these candidates come with some lofty post-COVID-19 expectations. Here’s how the Coronavirus has shifted candidate perspectives and changed their priorities.
Job flexibility is the number one thing candidates will be looking for in a post-COVID-19 workforce. In fact, according to a Workforce Confidence survey from LinkedIn, 50% of respondents say that flexibility of hours or location has become more important to them. This change is notable because as recently as 2017, flexibility wasn’t even on the candidate’s radar. The shift in 2020 showed workers and managers alike that work flexibility could be an asset rather than an obstacle. Because although people are working longer, more productive hours, they are simultaneously reporting higher happiness and productivity levels.
Tying in with job flexibility is a work-life balance. Generally, a more flexible work schedule and environment have allowed for a better work-life balance, so it makes sense that 45% of people will be prioritizing this in their job search. Over the past year, people have discovered the freedom of balancing their family and home life with work. We have proved that it is possible and that it contributes to a more productive workforce overall. However, this is not new information. A 2009 survey found that people who are happy with their work-life benefits work 21% harder and are 33% more likely to plan to stay at that organization. Therefore, in the post-Covid-19 job market, most employees expect this work-life balance to continue in the form of a hybrid work schedule.
It’s no surprise that a global pandemic has made people reconsider their medical benefits. Now, 41% of respondents list health coverage as important to them, whereas a few years ago, it didn’t even break the top five priorities of workers. Moving forward, companies can attract top candidates by offering competitive health coverage that puts employees’ needs first.
One priority that stands the test of time is pay. Most recently, 36% of people cited pay as an essential job factor. A fair and competitive wage will always be crucial and should be a primary consideration for hiring managers. Even in a candidate-saturated market, it’s a guaranteed way to build a solid, loyal workforce.
Workforce culture has been on the rise of candidate priorities over the last few years. However, due to recent diversity initiatives and the prioritization of an inclusive workforce, it has changed a lot recently. 36% of survey respondents listed it as necessary, but what does that mean? Where “culture fit” used to be cited in reference to excluding candidates, it has now pivoted to be inclusive. Candidates are looking for companies that prioritize building a diverse team that values all opinions and backgrounds. Additionally, companies that go above and beyond to bolster marginalized communities and professionals will garner the attention they deserve.
These post-Covid-19 perspectives are permanent
There is no arguing that the pandemic has changed the world as we know it. Priorities for companies and candidates are shifting, but for the better. As we work to establish our “new normal,” the workforce will look different as we continue experimenting and learning.
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