Are some things more important than salary?

Are some things more important than salary?

If you’ve turned on the news recently, you might have seen multiple stories about hectic airports, huge security queues, and cancelled flights. The BBC reports that this disruption is ‘being driven by staff shortages across the aviation industry’. The solution? ‘Better pay and working conditions’, says Mike Clancy, the General Secretary of trade union Prospect.

This problem isn’t unique to airports and flight companies; we reported on the similar issues that the hospitality industry faced last year. Due to the ‘lack of workers from overseas, finding staff became a nightmare. Some UK nationals decided that the long hours they worked, pre-pandemic, are no longer attractive, having re-evaluated their priorities whilst on furlough’.

That sentiment hasn’t changed, even though we’re two years on from when the UK first entered a nationwide lockdown. The pandemic has made people realise that they want to work to live, rather than live to work. Unsociable hours are out; people want downtime outside of work to spend with their friends and family, as well as a job where they can leave their duties in the workplace, rather than taking problems or stress home with them.

Perhaps, then, salary isn’t the most important thing for jobseekers when searching for vacancies. A better work-life balance, an understanding employer, and the opportunity for flexible working arrangements can benefit an applicant in ways money cannot.

For the youngest generation in the workplace, having an understanding employer is one of the main things they look for when applying for a job. Revealed in an Employment 4 Students survey, over 70% of 16–24-year-olds, or Gen Zs, said that mental wellbeing, a good work-life balance, and flexible working arrangements, are top priorities in their unfolding career.

Ways to improve workplace culture include mental health support, strong colleague relations, and a nicer physical office space. In a survey by Matthews & Goodman, nearly half of the UK workforce revealed that they might look for a new job if they were currently working in an unpleasant workspace. Furthermore, some people forced to work from home during the pandemic have now realised their previous commute was unreasonable and are subsequently looking for jobs closer to where they live—or even an entirely remote role. This would allow them to spend longer in bed or take their children to school, and it would certainly save on commuting costs.

As for job adverts, Gen Zs believe that honesty is the best policy. That employers state a specific salary is definitely preferred, so jobseekers know what to expect at the start of the application process. The phrase ‘competitive salary’ might immediately discourage someone from applying, or the candidate could find out the proposed salary an interview or two down the line and end up backing out, which would waste their time as well as the recruiter’s. The same could be said for jobs labelled as ‘remote’—many employers are failing to realise that weekly in-person office meetings undermine the actual remoteness of a job.

Job vacancies are at an all-time high; there are more open positions than people unemployed. As specialists in recruitment website design, we understand the importance of having an appealing, attractive job advert that stands out in a crowded, vacancy-laden market.

High staff turnover, due to a lack of employee benefits, or time wasted if an applicant pulls out after multiple interviews because the job advert wasn’t clear, is guaranteed to make a recruiter’s job more difficult and time-consuming. It is therefore paramount that recruiters write clear, precise job adverts to find the best person for the job and lessen the amount of time wasted.

Gone are the days of jobseekers scrambling for the same low-paid job vacancies with unsociable hours. People have raised their expectations and apply for roles that meet their criteria and fit with their individual needs. Recruiters and employers must meet these expectations with transparent, accurate job adverts and valued employee benefits.

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