HR Management & Compliance, Recruiting

Unhappy Employees Will Make New Candidates Head for the Hills

If new candidates come into your workplace and see how unhappy your current staff is, they’ll decline your job offer in a heartbeat, finds new research from Hibob—a people management platform. Even in a tight labor market, a high salary is not enough as 69% of candidates will reconsider an offer if current employees do not seem happy in their roles.


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The research also highlights what is effective in driving candidates to accept job offers, what is making them think twice about accepting an offer, and how candidates are researching potential employers. A few of the key findings have been outlined below.

What Employees Want

With more than 50% of today’s workers dissatisfied with their current jobs, companies must cater their offerings to the needs of modern workers in addition to offering a competitive salary.

Clear opportunities for growth and a strong corporate culture are top priorities for jobseekers: 56% of employees rank opportunities for growth as more important than salary, underscored by the fact that only 25% of employees left their previous role because they felt underpaid. Also, 77% of employees feel corporate culture is extremely important.

In the new world of work, as the concept of a work/life harmony becomes more fluid, jobseekers are keeping their ideal work/life balance in mind. The amount of vacation time offered (45%) and potential commute distance (35%) are key factors that are taken into consideration.

To address these concerns, companies like Dropbox and StitchFix are offering unlimited paid time off for employees, and Hibob gives people flexibility in where they work to reduce the time they spend commuting to and from the office each week.

What Turns Off Potential Employees

Even if a company is offering clear growth opportunities, a competitive salary, and the other benefits jobseekers crave, there are several factors that can still influence a jobseeker to say no to an offer. Hibob’s survey showed 69% of candidates will reconsider if a company has high turnover or if current employees seem burnt out as it shows a lack of employee satisfaction and a weak culture.

Once an offer has been accepted, companies must make a strong first impression on new team members to retain talent. The Hibob survey found that 64% of new hires are less likely to stay at a job after a negative onboarding experience.

While competitiveness among team members or a boring culture also make more than 30% of candidates reconsider a job offer, overworked employees or high turnover are still the largest deterrents.

In today’s quitting economy, company leaders must constantly work to ensure their employees are happy to prevent fast turnover and a loss of morale.

How Jobseekers Are Doing Their Research

While showing off a company’s unique attributes in recruitment marketing can attract strong candidates, fair representation is important. A consumer would be unhappy if they booked a hotel based on an ad for a luxury beachside resort and arrived to find a dingy motel by a lake.

In today’s market, jobseekers are consumers and must be treated the same way, yet nearly 30% of people said they were misled by the way a company presented itself online. The majority of jobseekers base their perceptions of a company on information provided by the organization.

Around one-in-three candidates look at a business’s website (32%) or contact current employees (29%) to understand the office experience, and one-in-five (19%) look through social media pages. With only one-fifth of candidates using information from sites like Glassdoor to inform their search, the responsibility of managing expectations falls into the hands of the organizations themselves.

The workforce will be dominated by Millennial and Gen Z workers by 2020, and as digital natives, these generations demand transparency, constant communication, and instant gratification. If an organization is dishonest in its marketing tactics, it will lose candidates’ trust from the start and hurt current recruitment efforts.

With high competition for talent and a workforce that is constantly evolving, companies must take into account what will attract and deter candidates, and how jobseekers are doing their research to win over top talent.

“Poor culture and employee dissatisfaction are driving away more than two-thirds of candidates. In order to thrive in today’s quitting economy, companies must create workplace experiences designed to retain today’s workforce by promoting a clear work/life balance,” says Ronni Zehavi, CEO of Hibob—in an e-mail to HR Daily Advisor. “While popular trends in perks have come and gone, culture and opportunity are key drivers of employee happiness and support collaboration and productivity.”

The national survey was conducted online by Pollfish on behalf of Hibob, on May 16, 2019. It includes responses from 1,000 employees age 18 and up in the United States.   

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