What Job Seekers Really Want

By Ryan Mead

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When hiring a new employee, having an enthused new hire is always a welcoming sight. When your new hire thinks they have acquired their dream job it can be a momentous moment for you and them. But what if they are just in the “honeymoon” stage? What if their new job is not exactly what they think it will be?

How we approach the idea of a dream job has become faulty. The actual job does still need to be attractive, but your company’s culture needs to be equally important. It has to align with who the candidates are, and who they want to become.

 

Culture vs. Compensation

The importance of company culture is known for today’s job seekers. 41% of all candidates search for information about a company culture before they apply. With services like Glassdoor, Yelp, Whisper and Salary.com broadening the company culture beyond its physical walls, the ability to discover a company's culture is increasingly easier. This increased ease of use aligns with what the market demands as 95% of candidates believe culture is more important than compensation.

Even though compensation is still a driving force, it is seen differently between employers and employees. 89% of employers think their people leave for more money while only 12% of employees actually do leave for that reason. Those that do leave don’t always leave because of their job. 75% of people voluntarily leaving jobs don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.

For companies, the question becomes how do I retain my employees if compensation is not the answer? The first place many companies look for answers is where they are struggling. 87% of companies around the world cite employee engagement and culture issues as one of their top challenges.

 

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Having an engaged workforce is part of company culture. Gallup defines engaged employees as those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. Their United States employee engagement matrix updates daily and was at 32.7% in early March. That’s just less than a third of the workforce. 91% of highly engaged employees always or almost always try their hardest at work, compared with 67% of disengaged employees.

Combining those stats reveals nearly two-thirds of the workforce doesn’t work very hard a third of their day. For a team of three in a 40 hour work week, it comes out to 26.7 hours of mediocre work or 22.25% of their combined work week. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that employee engagement programs can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year.

The underlying issue here is clear. By avoiding cultural issues or underlying work engagement problems, your company is losing money. By choosing to allow employees to languish in a culture that doesn’t allow them to live out their values, or by refusing to see personality types and work values assessments as crucial to the hiring process, we are actively choosing to let the problem compound.

 

Follow the Leader

How can a company improve their engagement and company culture? First off, it helps to know your employees. It is difficult, if not impossible, to engage your employees if you don’t understand how they approach daily situations. Don’t know your employees? Try a team building exercise or have a company outing. Build a mentorship program or start a book club. While these seem like simple exercises, most companies need to start somewhere. Whether it’s corporate philanthropy and volunteer events or pushing to implement employee satisfaction surveys, you have to take the first step.

To build company culture and foster engagement, coaching is a great tool. Being transparent also builds trust with your employees which can go a long way. As a leader, you set the pace for your employees both with engagement and culturally. If there needs to be a big change, it needs to start at the top and trickle down. Implementing micro-feedback in your organization and learning your employees’ work values (so you can manage them better) is a great place to start.

If you don’t know your employees, why they come to work or what drives them to get out of bed in the morning, try a personality assessment for your team. Identify your employees’ values to design a better team and discover where your employees will be most engaged and efficient. Find the right fit and make every job a dream job!


Bio: Ryan Mead

Ryan Mead is the CEO and Founder of Vitru, an employee assessment tool that provides recruiters, hiring professionals, coaches and managers with the insights they need to manage their teams and make better hiring decisions. Powered by science, yet practical and easy to use for a variety of teams, Vitru works for organizations of all size. Want to learn more? Visit our blog or sign up for a freeteam building personality test account to assess your team today! Tweet me at@GoVitru

 

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