What Do Candidates Want? 10 Surprising Demands Tech Job Seekers Have For 2023

  • December 15, 2022

With the ever-changing job market, it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends, especially when it comes to what candidates are looking for in a role. Fueled by The Great Resignation and the rise of the #quitfluencer, there’s still tons of market movement. Even the employees who’re staying are “quiet quitting”. So, if you want to attract the best talent and keep them there, you need to find out what’s motivating them. As we head into 2023, take a sneak peek at what your perfect candidates really have on their letter to Santa – and there’s not a crazy team-building day in sight.


Here are 10 surprising items on tech job seekers’ wishlists this year:


1. Candidates as consumers mentality

More than ever, people are adopting consumerist behaviours when job-hunting. Employers must treat their employer brand and candidate experience with the same reverence as they do their overall brand and customer experience. Candidates who are shopping for jobs are looking, above all else, for *value* – both in terms of the value they will bring, how they will be valued and what value they will receive from the role. Show them – with open communication, empowerment and personalised feedback.


2. Projects over profits

Yes, you read that right: Tech job seekers are even more interested in working on interesting or rewarding projects than getting paid more. Being part of something cool, revolutionary, exciting and that inspires their curiosity and sense of purpose is more attractive than money.


3. Higher salary

That said, there is a cost of living crisis right now – and also tech workers are in demand. So they’d be a bit crazy not to be a little interested in a higher salary. 45% of workers looking to leave their current jobs in the next 12 months are doing so to achieve a bigger pay packet. So maximise those salary budgets.


4. Freedom from burnout

It’s been a really tough few years for all of us. Chronic workplace stress has become a common feature of any tech-related roles as skills shortages and accelerated digital transformation have exacerbated already strained workloads. Mental wellbeing platform Yerbo found that 42% of IT workers who were facing burnout were looking to quit their job in the next six months. Will your organisation be the one to welcome them with open arms?


5. Learning and development

When shopping for new roles, top of many tech candidates’ wish list is the opportunity for personal and professional development. People always have an eye on where they’re going rather than just the next step on the ladder. Yet only about half of employees are actually happy with their career progression and development opportunities. Make sure your business prioritises learning and development and makes it a huge part of your employer brand and your recruitment strategy.


6. Flexibility

Unsurprisingly, tech candidates, like the rest of the labour market, not only want but expect flexible working arrangements. 80% of all employees want flexible working, and almost half would quit if they didn’t get it. Sobering stuff. And if employers fail to listen to the labour market, they will fail to attract and retain the best people. It’s simple as that. Take heed, Sir Alan Sugar.


7. Values and culture match

The Great Resignation/Great Reflection/Great Reshuffle – whatever we’re calling this phenomenon these days – has been influenced by many things. Not least by the fact the pandemic simply changed what people valued. Employees expect to adapt and offer a more human-centric value proposition. And they expect to work for employers who respect that work does not and will not come first in life’s priorities.


8. 4-day week

Almost three-quarters of UK workers are in favour of the four-day working week, according to research by comparison site NerdWallet. They were also confident they could get their work done in a shorter working week, believing in the benefits of improved work-life balance on engagement and productivity. As the six month UK trial of the four-day working week draws to a close, it will be interesting to see how the guinea pigs fared and who will adopt the shorter working week permanently.


9. Recognition

Recognition is a driver of human behaviour. It’s literally hardwired into our brains to crave the chemical reaction that is triggered when feel recognised and feel good about ourselves and our achievements. Dopamine, the feel good hormone, is what runs our brain’s motivation and reward system. And employees want a culture that celebrates and values their achievements. Yet only 54% of employees answer positively when asked if their employer appreciates their hard work and effort. Poor show, employers.


10. A reason to stick around

Despite their reputation for being a little bit flighty, Millennials claim they would stay at their jobs for 10 years – if they were given an annual salary increase and progression opportunities. It seems, therefore, that what drives Millennials to move on is the desire to achieve market rate in exchange for their skills. And you can’t say fairer than that in a market where they can undoubtedly find someone else to give it to them if their current employer won’t.


Employers must get their A Game on for 2023

The war for talent is still on, and if you want to attract the best of the job-movers in 2023 you need to be giving them what they’re looking for but not getting from their current employer. If the prize is an engaged, grateful workforce who plan to stick around then it’s more than worth ensuring you’re giving candidates what they want in 2023 and beyond.


Get your hiring plans for the new year off the ground early by calling our expert team today

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