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What are the most important factors to you when looking for a job?

Survey - What are the most important factors to you when looking for a job?

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Job boards and career pages are swamped with hundreds of thousands of job vacancies so how can you choose which ones to apply for? They nearly all look the same. This got us thinking, how could we be different. How could we make sure that our adverts stand out from the crowd? We decided that we needed to ask you, the candidate.

We ran a survey for a month in July, with the main purpose of finding out what factors were important to you when looking for a job.

We intend to use these results to better understand job seekers requirements and to write better job adverts that will help you make an informed decision when applying for our jobs.

A link to the survey was posted on our social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook).

“What are the most important factors to you when looking for a job?” (Tick all that apply) 

The results showed that out of 40 respondents, the general consensus was that salary was important, closely followed by location, career prospects and company culture. Closely mirroring the answers that were given when we ran this survey back in 2018 before the pandemic.

"What are the most important factors to you when looking for a job" results
"What are the most important factors to you when looking for a job" results

Would you prefer to…

"Would you prefer" results

The effect of lockdown has shifted what candidates seek out when looking for new opportunities. Previously, candidates would have been reluctant to apply for certain vacancies that were not in commuting distance.

Understanding what works for your employees is essential for retaining talent, especially within the tech sector. Businesses embracing the remote working model will have a huge advantage in attracting talent and make great jobs accessible. This can help boost diversity, inclusion and end the dire skills shortages which are impacting many sectors.

Offering perks and company benefits that ensure the wellbeing of each employee, can help to maximise chances of employee retention and avoid losing skilled staff to rival competitors who do offer flexible and hybrid working options.

By giving IT professionals the freedom to choose how and where they work is key to attracting the best talent.

When viewing job advertisements online how do you decide which ones to apply for?

‘It various really, from what I've come across on sites recently, nowhere really offers everything that you want, so it's more of a case of "what am I willing to sacrifice to work here", which then means, more often than not, your decision is based on the salary that the company is offering.

‘The job requirements have to be very clear and precise.’ 

‘That the job focuses working with systems or technology that I know I'll enjoy working with, and that I won't be expected to work ridiculous hours.’

  Salary, is it a culture filled ad and not just 1000 bullet points of responsibilities and a tad more human.’

 ‘Required skills matching or needed something extra than my profile. So, I have scope to improve in that role.

 ‘The ones that describe working on something interesting. Many adverts only list the tech stack but that does not stand out, it’s good to know what you will be working on.’

 ‘I apply for what I think I am capable of, can cover my bills, doesn’t support political causes and offers flexible and remote working.’

Which of the above factors are important to you when making the decision about accepting a job offer? (Please explain your answer.)

‘Salary is always important as I work to support a family. Technology is key as you have to ensure you don’t end up specialising in something that may die out such as flash.’

‘Assuming the job is suitable, which I'll get a sense of from the title and sector the company is a part of. I'll dive deeper into the description to understand the role and requirements. The salary is a first step, does it meet my minimum expectation. Then location, before something local would of been key but now with remote working this HAS to be part of the mix. Just recently started a role where I am a WFH contracted so provides the security I wanted. Then really its culture above all else as these effects most other facets of the role for me.

‘I am looking for a long-term role (for a perm role) therefore will look at more factors and be more discerning than for a contract. Most important are challenges & getting on with people I will work with - can I trust them?’

‘The most important factors for me are Location, Salary and Hybrid Working. I would want to be close to home (and a few days per week working from it) in order to spend more time with my kids on workdays, and I'd want to earn a decent amount in order to provide for them.’

 ‘Flexible working enables the employee to work more effectively by eliminating unnecessary daily commute which might eat up at least 2 hrs of a day, compensation has to meet the market standards to let the employee know he's being treated fairly.’


Candidates will continue to seek out businesses that can offer:

  • Training and development opportunities

  • Competitive salary and flexible company benefits

  • Remote and hybrid working, providing more flexibility to work between home and the office.

  • Smooth onboarding process

  • A robust technical setup to get the job done. Many employees are still using personal devices and software to work from home, despite possible security risks. Having the correct tech setup from the start can avoid any security breaches, ensuring that GDPR policies are adhered.

  • Team building opportunities (i.e. away days) to boost morale.

  • Good communication with the team, regular meetings

Overall, the results of this recent survey showed that the important factors to candidates are salary, location and career prospects with companies offering a good company culture, flexible working, training, development and career progression as well as a good mix of new technologies. Not much to ask for really!