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What Employees Want More Than Money

Dive In
  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Bromstein

It’s not news that a majority of employees want flexible work hours and the option to work remotely these days. A new report tells us what else companies should offer if they want to attract talent. Here’s what employees want more than money.

Attracting qualified candidates can be a struggle for some businesses these days. Many industries are in what experts call a “candidate driven market,” meaning that there are more jobs than applicants, so it’s the candidates who have the upper hand and can have their pick of jobs and ask for what they want.

OK. So, what do they want?

A new report, Employee Expectations in Hiring Report: Rethinking Compensation Strategies to Attract Talent in the 2021 Job Market, from beqom, a cloud-based compensation software provider, shares the results of a survey asking employees what they expect from employers. Here’s what they learned:

Flexibility around work and transparency around pay

It’s not news at this point that a majority of employees (82%) expect flexible work hours and the option to work remotely multiple days a week (80%).

Another thing people want is transparency around pay. It’s accepted as common practice these days for the candidate to go through the entire application process waiting patiently to find out what the salary is for the position they’re applying for. But employers will attract more applicants with transparency.

Well over half (61%) of respondents are more likely to apply to a job that shares a salary in the job posting, and 27% believe employers should provide pay transparency in job postings.

Additionally, more than half (55%) have been pressured by an employer not to disclose their pay to coworkers, more than two-thirds (67%) think companies should disclose their CEO-to-employee pay ratios, and 70% believe companies should disclose their overall pay gaps.

More concerns include safety and social responsibility

Employees are also concerned about safety and social responsibility. More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents said that a company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a factor in applying for and accepting a job. And two thirds (66%) do more research into a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts than they did before the pandemic.

“The last 18 months have greatly changed the way we work, the way we value work as a part of our lives and what employees need from a future employer,” said Tanya Jansen, co-founder of beqom. “With millions of open jobs available, and labor shortages creating a candidate’s market, it’s critical for employers to understand employee needs when it comes to compensation and benefits. As employers navigate through this shift, it’s crucial for companies to utilize data and employee input to implement a flexible rewards policy that ensures relevant benefits for each individual.”

Will work for flexibility

More findings from the report include that people prioritize pay but would work for less in exchange for flexibility.

  1. 52% of respondents expect a higher salary in a new role due to the pandemic.

  2. The benefits for which they might be willing to take a salary lower than the market average included: flexible working hours (77%), remote work options (71%), and a higher number of PTO days (70%).

  3. 63% of respondents are aware of the current average market salary for their desired role.

  4. 77% would take a lower salary if they had flexible working hours.

  5. 65% would take a lower salary if they could work remotely.

Employers looking to attract top talent should pay attention to what people want and find ways to make meeting and exceeding these needs a part of their employer brand.

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