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What Candidates Look for in the Ideal Employer

The job market remains hot as we go into the second half of 2022 and demand for talent is at an all-time high with ample job listings available for employees to choose from. This is not only the time for employees to build their careers and find a job that suits their needs but also the time for employers to shape their skills and leadership style to attract top talent candidates.


What do candidates look for in the ideal employer? Well, employee needs have changed since the pandemic due to the changing nature of work and priorities. To help shine a light on the importance of employer-employee relationships, we have made a list of characteristics that candidates look for in the ideal employer before taking on a job opportunity.


It should be of no surprise that workplace flexibility has become one of the most important aspects of a job to candidates. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced remote work and it looks like it is here to stay as it has proven to work. Having said that, the line between work life and home life begins to blur for work-from-home employees.


For this reason, it is extremely important for candidates to make sure that the employer and company culture supports this concern and has systems in place to encourage a work-life balance. Even so, a challenge that presents itself for those who work flex hours is how readily available they need to be throughout the day to take calls, reply to messages, take part in meetings, etc.


Many employers are unaware, but in late 2021, several changes were made to employment legislation as part of the new bill that was passed known as the Working for Workers Act, 2021. This includes the Right to Disconnect which states that employers are required to implement a written policy that allows employees to detach from work-related communications and activities outside of work hours. Nonetheless, the expectations of the employee should be clearly defined to avoid conflict and a distorted perception of work performance.


Compensation & Benefits
Although there has been a shift to valuing non-monetary aspects of work (work-from-home, flex hours, provision of challenging work, etc.), employees still expect to be compensated fairly to keep up with the rate of inflation and high standards of living in the GTA. More than ever, salaries are quite competitive due to the high demand for talent. In the last 9 months, we have seen salaries increase between 10% – 25% depending on the role. Thus, employers need to reward their employees accordingly for their time and effort if they want a desirable retention rate, let alone new hires.


More importantly, benefits that support employee well-being along with paid time off (PTO) are of higher priority according to a survey done by glassdoor indicating that the yearly salary is not the only compensation that candidates are looking for. A high salary may seem attractive at first glance; however, compensation packages that take into consideration all employee needs are what truly lure candidates in to apply for a job.


Transparency is key when posting a job opening and candidates appreciate an employer that can be upfront and honest regarding total compensation so ensure that you include it as one of the first pieces of information about the role.


It is proven by now that micro-management of employees is negatively perceived and can actually worsen their work performance. It leads to a lack of initiative, feelings of anxiety, and a decline in productivity long-term.


Rather than telling employees exactly what to do and how to do it with strict supervision, provide them with meaningful but challenging work and allow them to independently utilize their skillset to complete the work.


Giving workers sufficient autonomy allows an employee-employer relationship to be built around trust which is highly valued by candidates. Employees thrive in autonomous work environments because they are involved in their work on a deeper level, encouraged to be creative, and overall, more motivated and satisfied.


Having a development plan in place is crucial if employers want to retain their employees. No employee wants to remain in the same position with uncertainty as to whether there is potential for growth for them at the company they work at.


Not to mention, they want to ensure their employers are communicating with them about their performance and supporting their development within the company as well. This means investing in employees through training, tuition assistance or having a roadmap for each employee that outlines position advancements and pay increases.


An employer’s relationship with their employee will signify how well work is performed and how satisfied the employee is. Therefore, it is paramount that employers pay attention to their leadership style, the work environment they create for employees, as well as how they choose to compensate them.


Author: Bryan Payne is the Chief Talent Scout and Founding Partner at Just Sales Jobs with over 25-years of experience in sales and leading high-performance sales teams. Bryan and his team specialize in recruiting top talent within the Greater Toronto Area to Kitchener Waterloo. You can reach him at bp@justsalesjobs.com 

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