“Nobody wants to work anymore!” We’ve all heard it, but as a digital marketing recruiter, I can tell you that it simply isn’t true.

Here, I fixed it for you: “Nobody wants to work (for less than they are worth) anymore!” or “Nobody wants to (sacrifice their work-life balance) anymore!” How about this one: “Nobody wants to work (in a hostile environment) anymore!”

Let’s face it: the worker shortage is real, but the candidates didn’t just disappear — they are holding out.

Here are a few things to consider:

Competitive Salaries and Benefits

Something happened in 2020. Yes, the world was turned upside-down by a global pandemic, but something else happened, too: things started getting more expensive. Rent went up, interest rates are climbing, inflation is at record highs —  and so are salaries.

If you want to attract top talent, you need to be prepared to offer competitive salaries and benefits. This doesn’t mean throwing money at the problem, ignoring the rest of these ideas, or overpaying for mediocrity, but it does mean being in the same ballpark. Candidates know their worth and will not accept anything less.

Work-Life Balance

The lines between work and life have been blurred for years, but 2020 was the year they disappeared. 

Now, more than ever, employees are looking for companies that offer a good work-life balance. This could mean flexible hours, the ability to work from home, or even unlimited vacation days. Whatever it is, offer structure to help your employees maintain a healthy balance between work and life.

Employee Development

Nobody wants to feel trapped in a dead-end job. Employees are looking for companies that offer opportunities for development and growth. This could be through training, mentorship, or even cross-training in other departments.

Some employers may balk at the idea of providing employees with tools that could make them more attractive to competitors, but top talent recognizes when they are supported in their trajectories and are more likely to stay with your company.

Positive Company Culture

Company culture is more important than ever, and as Gen Z enters the workplace this is going to become Sticking Point #1. In the past, benefits and salary have been the primary deciding factors when candidates choose a job. But now, employers need to offer more than just a paycheck — they need to offer a positive company culture.

What does this mean? Positive company culture is one where employees feel valued, respected, and like that they are part of a community — one with a clear mission and values they stand by. 

Flexible Work Arrangements

The pandemic has changed the way we work — maybe forever. 

For employees, this means more flexibility in where and how they work. It also means more freedom when it comes to hours and working arrangements. If you want to attract top talent, offer them the ability to create their own work schedule, along with clear expectations for the work they are producing. Flexibility ≠ mediocrity.

The Simple Answer? Respect and Appreciation

I know, there is no simple answer, but at the end of the day, employees want to be respected and appreciated. They want to feel like their work is valuable and that their contributions are making a difference. The best way to attract top talent is to show them that you value them — not just as employees, but as people, with families, hobbies, and aspirations outside of work. 

What ways is your company “sweetening the deal” to get the best candidates into your interview funnels? I’m always interested to hear about hiring from an HR perspective, especially alongside the candid conversations I have with job-seekers in this market.

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