By Alejandra Roblin, Recruiting Team Lead
When I started recruiting in 2010, the first question candidates used to ask me was “What’s the salary?” and then “How stable is the company?” We were coming out of an economic recession at the time, so those questions made perfect sense.
Recently, however, I have noticed a shift in what questions candidates typically ask first.
So far in 2023, I’ve worked with over 400 candidates, speaking to roughly 15 different people a week. And while they’re still interested in their salary, of course, candidates are taking a more holistic approach to their job search.
Compensation alone just doesn’t cut it anymore.
After talking with hundreds of candidates and hearing their priorities, I’ve identified three crucial actions life sciences companies should take in order to attract the best possible candidates.
1. Demonstrate your culture
Applicants are no longer solely focused on finding a role that matches their skills and experience; they also seek an environment where they feel accepted, valued, and connected.
According to recent statistics, a staggering 70% of U.S. professionals would not tolerate a poor workplace culture. To that end, candidates want to see that your culture is more than just a list of abstract values – they want to see concrete examples of your culture in action.
Companies that prioritize and foster a positive and inclusive culture are likely to stand out in the eyes of candidates, and being able to demonstrate genuine care for your employees’ physical and mental well-being makes you more likely to attract and retain talented individuals who align with your values and vision.
Your company’s culture can precede you in recruiting; it might even be one of the main reasons why a candidate is willing to have a conversation with a recruiter in the first place. And if you can show the ways your organization is prioritizing employee wellbeing and fostering a healthy work environment, that conversation can quickly turn into much more.
2. Add perks to your compensation
While a competitive salary is still crucial, it’s no longer the sole determinant of job satisfaction. In fact, research shows that 79% of U.S. workers are looking for more from their workplaces than just a bump in pay.
The candidates I talk to are no different. They’re looking closely at what else comes with the salary, and these perks are essential differentiating factors in their decision-making process.
Alongside compensation, employee perks can range from flexible working hours and comprehensive healthcare benefits to wellness programs, remote work options, and more.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reshaped the work landscape and highlighted the value of remote work and flexible schedules for many.
Yes, remote work has its challenges as we’ve talked about before, but your flexibility shows your employees that you trust them to do their jobs and offers them increased autonomy, eliminates their commuting stress, and – remember, this was an important part of the previous section – enables a better work-life balance.
As such, employers who accept or encourage remote work or provide flexibility in working hours are better positioned to attract top talent who value these arrangements.
3. Create opportunities to advance
Gen Z already comprises a significant – and rapidly growing – portion of the workforce. And one way they’re setting themselves apart is by being significantly more likely to value opportunities for career advancement and gaining new skills, about 50% more likely compared to Gen X.
This tracks with the questions my candidates are asking, too. They want to know not only where a position falls within the organization, but also, and more importantly, if there is room to grow.
Candidates know that, in order to grow professionally, they need to partner with their employers. They also know their growth will require learning new skills along the way, which requires an investment of time from both parties and a tentative career path to follow.
And being able to demonstrate these opportunities is another way to show your company’s culture in action.
Align your strategy to your candidates
As the hiring landscape continues to change, understanding what candidates want is necessary for any organization’s success in attracting and retaining top talent.
By recognizing the importance of blending traditional factors like competitive compensation with the holistic priorities of today’s candidates, companies can better align their recruitment strategies with candidate expectations and, ultimately, attract the best possible candidates.
Find the right mix for your team – with Mix
At Mix Talent, we specialize in helping businesses navigate the ever-changing hiring landscape. With our expertise and tailored solutions, we can assist you in attracting the right candidates who align with your organization’s values and meet their evolving needs. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can support your recruitment efforts.
About the Author
Recruiting Team Lead
Alejandra is a seasoned recruiting leader with 15 years of experience in technical sourcing and recruitment. Her multicultural background, bilingual skills and dual citizenship allow her to connect deeply with people and understand better their needs. She has formal studies in psychology and is passionate about using her remarkable “matchmaking” skills to find the right candidate for the right job and company. Alejandra joined Mix Talent in November 2022 and is currently leading our HealthTech delivery team.