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Global Hiring Realities: What Candidates Want in 2024?

Submitted by Harry Double on

As headcount budgets are signed off for Q1, organisations are beginning to ramp up recruitment.

Maximising your hiring strategies and candidate experience will put you in the best position to entice top talent when you’re ready to recruit.

But as our recent Global Workplace Study uncovered, professionals are becoming more discerning when it comes to advancing their careers and many are walking away from opportunities if key criteria are not met.

Key findings:

  • Salary, career growth and meaningful work are the top 3 priorities when deciding to take a new opportunity
  • 62% of professionals are moving as their salaries aren't at the right level
  • 47% of people have declined a job offer as a result of the unprofessional approach from the interviewer or hiring manager
  • Too many interview rounds, slow processes and decision-making are negatively affecting candidate experience
  • 50% of employees are ready to skip a pay raise if it means they get the flexibility of working patterns that they desire

How can companies adapt their recruitment strategies to ensure they have the greatest chance of success when hiring top-tier talent?

Here are the top challenges facing organisations:

1. Balancing financial and non-financial incentives

Whilst compensation is one of the primary drivers when it comes to moving jobs, the top 7 reasons cited in our research were more than just salary:

What do you value most when looking for a new role?GLOBAL
Salary & Benefits42.42%
Ability to work fully remote or hybrid15.50%
Responsibilities, meaningful and impactful work12.07%
Career growth and development opportunities13.89%
Role security6.64%
Empowering culture and leadership team3.82%
Supportive manager3.08%


“62% of professionals are moving as their salaries aren't at the right level.”

In-demand skill sets are pushing up certain salaries. If these are critical skills for your organisation, be prepared to offer a competitive package to attract the right professionals.

If you are unsure of what the industry average is for salary for the job that you are hiring, our salary guide will give you a good idea of what you should be paying.

2. Candidate experience is inconsistent

“47% of people have declined a job offer as a result of the unprofessional approach from the interviewer or hiring manager”

It’s vital that anyone conducting an interview on behalf of your company understands that they are not only assessing the potential new employee, but the candidate will also be assessing your company based on their attitude and approach.

Having frameworks for interviewing, training hiring managers for consistency, and implementing a feedback process from candidates will ensure you strengthen your brand reputation.

“It’s very hard to hire the best people at the moment. You need to plan for success and work with all the resources you have at your disposal to get results.”

3. Extended hiring processes are causing frustration

A lengthy hiring process has always been listed as one of the prominent reasons why job seekers drop out of a move to a new role. When asked, ‘What would cause you to walk away from potential opportunities during the interview and application process?’ 34% of respondents shared that there were too many interview rounds, slow processes, and decision-making.

This aligns with what we’re hearing from employers, as 24% said that the slow hiring process was one of the reasons for losing out on hiring new talent.

Leveraging technology such as AI in recruitment doesn't just make the process efficient; it also strengthens the experience. Yet only 7% of employers who responded to our research said that they use AI, or automation, in their recruitment processes to:

  1. Source and screen candidates
  2. Schedule interviews
  3. Manage onboarding

“We have seen clients streamline their laborious interview processes, reduce the number of unique rounds, offer flexibility in availability, be more disciplined with start/finish times as well as increase the level of touch points and engagements throughout the interview process.”

4. The importance of flexible working

“50% of employees are ready to skip a pay raise if it means they get the flexibility of working patterns that they desire”

In a world where work-life balance is still a priority for many candidates, flexibility is a compelling differentiator. Globally, 56% of companies are asking staff to come back into the office more regularly, and in many markets, this tension is growing between employees and employers' expectations.

In terms of employees’ preferences, most selected '1-2 days in the office' (43%), followed by '3-4 mandatory days in the office' (29%), and then '100% work from home' (16%). The remaining 12% selected ‘5 days per week’, with the majority of responses being around having more personal choice to decide when and where they work, depending on their personal situation.

There are some outliers, with Hong Kong and China seeing less resistance for on-site working, but other countries still have a mismatch.

Employers who can accommodate these preferences will be able to stand when hiring.

It boils down to one thing: It's Time to Listen

Professionals are empowered and their priorities have shifted. By understanding what potential employees value during your interviews, you can adapt your hiring strategies and promote the responsibilities, benefits and experience which matter to them.

Whilst remuneration packages top the list of many professionals’ reasons for moving jobs, don’t just focus on offering the most money. By prioritising meaningful work, flexibility, inclusion, and responsible practices, you can create a compelling offer.

Gaining feedback from quality candidates you’ve lost in the hiring process will allow you to streamline processes, improve experience and secure talent faster.