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About Jo Meunier

Jo is a Senior Editor at Alliance Virtual Offices. She loves chatting with people about virtual offices and is always eager to share stories, tips and ideas about remote work on the Alliance Blog. Connect with Jo on LinkedIn.

What Do Job Candidates Look For in a Virtual Company?


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Clue: It’s not all about money and promotion.

Looking for a new job is something of a box-ticking exercise. Job type, skills, qualifications and experience are usually at the top of the pile, followed by a gargantuan Maslow-shaped hierarchy of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Yet job searching also requires compromise, and at some point all candidates will find themselves trading one priority for another in order to bag their top job.

As a business-owner, you already know that salary isn’t everything. Workplace flexibility has become the new currency in today’s business landscape, which throws a ton of new opportunities into the mix. The option to work independently of a fixed location is a major perk for 21st century job seekers, yet even if you’ve already ticked the ‘home working optional’ box, there are still plenty of ways to reach out to potential new hires.

Manchester recruitment agency Laudale recently polled 1,000 working age adults in the UK asking what they look for in a company. The results are pretty revealing, and could help you understand how to tailor your approach in order to both attract and keep the best people in the business.

For instance, we just stated the words “salary isn’t everything”. True, it’s not. But when it comes to making a living, it’s still understandably high on the list for job seekers. Indeed, the results show that salary was ranked by 77.5% of respondents as a major pull factor when considering joining a company.

Yet that also means 22.5% of respondents didn’t tick the ‘money’ box. This suggests that other employment factors are more important to almost one quarter of job candidates than a high salary.

As for company benefits, two-thirds (67%) of candidates say this is important – but again, 33% left that box un-ticked.

Another big factor is location, which is a major consideration when you’re facing a daily commute and long working hours in a traditional company. While 69.5% say location is an important factor, a significant 30.5% left location out of the equation.

Other results from the same survey continue to throw a fascinating light on what’s likely to sway a job candidate in your company favor:

  • Flexible working hours: 57%
  • Career progression: 47%
  • Training opportunities: 39%
  • Mobile working: 15%

 

What does this tell you?

It shows that some job related pull factors are timeless, such as a desire for career progression, a positive work environment, and working for a company with a good reputation. A significant proportion of candidates still look for these elements during the job search, and the company that has them is more likely to win over top talent.

Yet, it also shows that less conventional options such as flexible hours and mobile working are appealing to a growing number of candidates. Such factors are no longer considered a ‘perk’ but an increasingly expected component in the workplace.

As for flexible working, if you operate a virtual company with a remote working culture, you’re already pushing the right buttons. Don’t lose sight of more conventional factors such as training opportunities and building a good reputation; these not only contribute to a positive business environment, they also have the power to attract top talent to your team.

Finally, one last statistic caught our eye.

5.5% of respondents claimed “nothing would ever make me want to work for a company”. Seems a pretty odd statement, right?

Not if you consider that 54 million Americans were doing freelance work in 2015. Freelancing is an exciting and evolving market that gives ordinary working people the chance to run their own business and do something they love. And, according to the study (from independent research firm Edelman Berland, Freelancers Union and Upwork), the trend isn’t slowing down — it’s speeding up. This freelance figure is actually up 7 percentage points from 2014.

At the core of freelancing is a flexible work culture that allows freelancers the freedom to choose when and where they work. This growth in freelancing, coupled with these telling job statistics, suggest that candidates are no longer content with 9-5 working — even when it involves a good salary. We, and other virtual companies like us, have known that for some time. But if this is news to you, perhaps your hiring process isn’t quite putting ticks in the right boxes.



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