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Employers and Job Seekers Disagree on Flexibility

A fifth of U.S. workers see a lack of flexibility as a dealbreaker, while U.S. employers are pushing for traditional in-office attendance, according to recent research from Indeed. While a growing number of employers are implementing pay transparency practices, half of job listings still make no mention of pay, and three-quarters of job seekers say they want pay transparency.  

Though the Great Resignation may be over, the record number of people quitting their jobs has been replaced by what Indeed calls the Great Disconnect—a gap between job seekers and employers as they find themselves as odds over remote work, pay, diversity and inclusion, and more.  

Workers consistently express a desire for flexibility in where, when, and how they work. Indeed’s 2024 Workforce Insights Report finds that just 23% of job seekers prefer to work exclusively on-site, and 74% want some kind of partial or exclusive remote option. In last year’s Work Well-being Report, a lack of hybrid or remote options was a dealbreaker for a fifth of workers, and more than half of respondents said it was something they would “really appreciate” having. 

At the same time, employers are pushing for a return to the office. While many young workers say in-office collaboration is beneficial, they’re resistant to five-day-per-week mandates that are at odds with the freedoms many workers say they want. Some employees have opted to quit rather than return to the office, Indeed’s research finds.  

While office occupancy rates are increasing, hybrid work arrangements are not even across all geographic markets. If a job seeker is searching for a particular kind of flexibility, employers may lose out to a competitor that offers more flexibility. After pay and benefits, flexibility is the biggest factor motivating people to search for jobs, the report finds.  

Job seekers are also looking for pay transparency—75% say they’re more likely to apply for a job if the salary is listed. Not seeing a salary is the biggest reason job seekers discard an application, according to Indeed. And 74% of job seekers look at salary information before considering anything else.  

Though the hiring process should be thorough, job seekers think it’s too complex. Nearly half (49%) of workers agree that most applications are too long and complicated. Some even say that the job-seeking process is “out of control,” with applicants expected to do hours of unpaid work and pass multiple rounds of interviews to move forward.  

Indeed’s research finds that part of what may be driving the push and pull of the employer-job seeker disconnect is that younger workers are less likely to settle. Negative ratings and reviews are the second-likeliest dealbreaker for Gen Z applicants, with 32% citing them as a turnoff. Further, Gen Z’s expectations are high, with 93% of workers believing it’s possible to be fully satisfied by a job.  

Tags: Employee/Candidate Experience, Flexibility

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