The evolution of desirables

Author Samantha Fong
September 13, 2021

After the year we have all had, it comes as no surprise that many of our perspectives and priorities in life have evolved. This is not limited to our personal lives; as recruiters, we have seen a real change in what both job seekers and companies looking to hire consider as desirables.

From a candidate’s point of view, we have seen that time with family is not only possible but more important than ever. We look for flexibility in companies and forward-thinking bosses (Glassdoor reviews can offer a great insight). We want to know that our work lives are valued as much as our personal lives, whilst appreciating that finding that balance does not mean a reduction in work productivity. Candidates are having more and more open conversations about salaries and business culture, meaning if one company is paying candidates less than another for the same job, word will travel fast and people aren’t afraid of leaving when they feel lesser valued.  

This palpable change in what candidates look for has coincided with a shift in clients’ expectations and mindsets. Acceptance of the newfound flexibility has almost become an expectation within the candidate market, and those businesses not offering this risk falling behind and thus losing talent. Still, there remains a definite fear within some companies that by offering remote working, productivity and office culture will diminish. Anyone with a presence on LinkedIn can see the constant posting of polls and articles from the opposing sides; those who are pro fully remote working, and those looking to bring back full-time office work. 

Despite this debate over what is best, the growing acceptance of more time working from home is reflected well in the current job market, and when compared to five years ago it is undeniable that there has been a shift in mentality from a business perspective. Alongside the need to keep up with candidate demands, we are seeing a change in what clients look for in a new hire.

In many cases, clients are looking for someone who can offer more than just technical ability. Sure, getting the job done will always be fundamental, however, culture fit, diversity and personality no longer fall under the ‘non-essentials’ section. Candidates need to prove that they not only have the talent to successfully perform the role in question; but also that they are the right fit on a broader spectrum for the team and company, all in the space of a few interviews – not an easy task!

A key piece of advice from a recruiter’s perspective would be to make sure you really think about why you want to move and where you want to move to, as this will make interview processes less daunting when faced with these hoops to jump through.

Overall, standards are higher and finding that ideal fit is tougher than ever before for those sitting on both sides of the table. What we can hope to come out of this is that while it is tougher, when we do find that perfect role or perfect fit for our team, it will ultimately lead to better long-term results and greater longevity. 

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