Ian Butterworth: What is the most important thing people look for in a new job?

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“Candidates may be swayed by salary, but there are a variety of other factors they look for when considering a new role.”

Businesses now face increased competition when it comes to attracting new talent. Larger companies are able to offer candidates lucrative offers that smaller organisations cannot compete with. The good news is that candidates may be swayed by salary, but there are a variety of other factors they look for when considering a new role.

In order to highlight the top priorities of new candidates, Lucas Blake has conducted a survey of over 1,500 people in the UK, asking ‘What is the most important thing you look for in a new job?’ the top results from the survey are listed below.

Salary – 799

Unsurprisingly the most important thing people look for in a new job is a good salary. After all, it’s the reason that most of us go to work. Many people narrow down their job search by looking for higher paid roles than their previous job, giving them the opportunity to improve their lifestyle.

Career development – 180

In joint second place (with location) was career development. When searching for a new job, many candidates appear to look for a role that offers a step up the career ladder. Development in one’s career is great for keeping motivated and essential to self-fulfilment.

Location – 180

The results found that location was equally as important as career development when looking for a new job. Candidates tend to narrow their job searches by proximity to where they live, helping to cut down on commuting times.

Working environment – 176

Coming in just under career development and location was working environment. What people look for in a working environment can vary, however most look for positive environments that promote good teamwork and peer support. Working environments must also be clean, safe and professional in order to meet candidates’ needs.

Company reputation – 68

Companies’ employer branding is becoming increasingly important. The best candidates are looking for employers that have a good reputation and are known for offering a good salary, great opportunities for development and other key benefits. Businesses looking to secure top candidates must focus on marketing themselves as great employers.

Company culture – 50

Company culture is something that is important to some job seekers. This is a reflection of the staff at a particular organisation, their behaviour and the value they contribute to the overall business. Many job seekers like to speak to existing employees to get a feel for the company culture before taking on a role.

Management culture – 41

Management styles vary from one company to the next; some managers take a more authoritarian approach, whereas others have a more libertarian management style. Candidates usually prefer the latter, as it gives them more freedom to make their own decisions and carve their own paths at work.

Bonuses – 37

Everyone likes a bonus but only 37 people said it was the most important thing they look for in a new job. Bonuses are usually given as a reward for meeting targets, so these candidates may be interested in more commission-based roles.

Health benefits – 34

Unsurprisingly, health benefits were fairly low on the list for what people look for in a new job, probably because we are lucky enough to have the NHS in the UK. However, private health care is something that is offered by many employers and can be beneficial to both job seekers and their families.

Training – 30

Training came in low on participants’ list of the most important things they look for in a new job. We believe this is because they see it as something that all companies offer anyway. However, it’s worth considering that some companies offer better training programmes than others, which can often lead to better career development – something that is of high importance to new candidates.

Profit sharing – 25

Last but not least was profit sharing, which was ranked lowest on the list of things people look for in a new job. This is a system whereby employees receive a direct share of the profits generated by the company they work for. This can be a great motivator for employees but is not a major requirement for those looking for a new job.

We hope you have found our survey results interesting. We certainly think they have shed some light on the motivations of job seekers, which could potentially help employers and recruiters to make their job roles more competitive.

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About Ian Butterworth

Ian Butterworth is the Director and Senior Consultant at Lucas Blake. Lucas Blake specialises in the recruitment of Sales Professionals within the Information Technology and Telecommunications sectors throughout the UK and Europe.

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