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Employees Say Positive Work Environment is Critical to Next Job

iHire announces the publication of its 2024 Hiring & Job Search Outlook Report, providing employers advice for effective recruitment and retention in the new year. Analyzing the results of iHire’s survey of 1,327 U.S. job seekers from 57 industries, the second annual report shares job candidates’ plans, goals, and challenges for 2024. The full report is here 

Based on its survey findings, iHire offers hiring and HR professionals the following guidance for 2024.  

  • Zero in on the employee experience. Aside from salary, a positive work environment topped candidates’ wish lists for new job attributes (71.7%), along with good relationships with management (57.3%), and appealing company cultures (44.6%). In 2024, be intentional about building culture and nurturing relationships to attract and retain top talent.  
  • Embrace candidates of all ages. Approximately 42% of job seekers surveyed are concerned with experiencing age-based discrimination during their job search or in the workplace in 2024. In addition, 8.9% plan to come out of retirement to rejoin the workforce. Expanding the talent pool in 2024 means making age inclusivity part of DEIB strategy, offering upskilling opportunities for older workers, and applying for age-friendly employer certifications. 
  • Enable flexible work arrangements. Despite an increase in “return-to-office” requirements, 42.1% of candidates plan to spend most of 2024 working in person, and 43.4% plan to work remotely or in a hybrid setting. At the same time, 31.9% of job seekers say it’s important for their next employer to provide remote work options, and 24.1% say the same about hybrid work. Allow employees to choose where and how they work to positively impact recruitment and retention, as well as reduce stress and burnout and facilitate a healthier work-life balance.  
  • Partner with marketing to promote employer brand. Nearly half (44.6%) of job seekers say a company’s culture is important to their next job. To attract those candidates, HR leaders can collaborate with their company’s marketing team to get the word out that the company is a great place to work. This can involve sharing employee testimonials, creating short videos showing company culture, promoting company news, and applying for awards recognizing workplace culture excellence.  
  • Engage all candidates. Getting ghosted by employers when applying for jobs is candidates’ second biggest concern going into 2024. Put an end to the resume “black hole” in 2024 by communicating with all applicants. This shows job seekers that the company values their time, which improves the candidate experience and boosts the company’s employer brand.  
  • Invest in professional development. Nearly half (42.7%) of respondents say it’s vital for their next employer to offer growth and advancement opportunities, and 37.5% say the same about professional development opportunities. Provide upskilling avenues for existing staff, map out their potential career paths, share what’s needed to reach their goals, and promote the company’s commitment to professional development in job ads. 
  • Build a talent pipeline with passive candidates. Approximately 12% of survey respondents are not planning to search for a job in 2024 or are unsure of their job plans. However, that’s not to say someone wouldn’t be interested if the right job came along. Get ahead of the hiring game by growing and engaging a talent pipeline so hiring is quick when the need arises.  
  • Experiment with AI. Just 10.4% of job seekers plan to use AI in their job search or career in 2024, but that doesn’t mean employers should follow suit. Take advantage of AI to save time, maximize resources, and focus instead on more strategic recruitment initiatives.  

“As employers rebound from a year marked by economic uncertainty, talent shortages, and hiring slowdowns in some industries, they are seeking to optimize their approaches to talent acquisition, development, and retention,” says Steve Flood, iHire’s president and CEO. “Using our report as a guide, organizations can uncover people-first recruitment strategies that will enable them to maximize business adaptability and maintain a competitive advantage.”

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