People are looking for more meaningful relationships, and this does not stop at work. Potential candidates want to understand the purpose behind their role. And employers like you want to hire the best available talent today, who have the potential to grow with your business. How can you make this happen?  

“The new generation expects different things from their job and career than candidates in the past,” explains Cesar Gautier, Executive Manager with Michael Page Sweden. “There is a growing need to be part of a culture, purpose and ultimately to something candidates can belong to and feel proud of being a part of. The need to find a relevant challenge in order to develop their career remains just as crucial as for older generations. Therefore it is increasingly important for companies to find the right balance between great career opportunities and a purpose.”  

“If candidates can choose between two similar job offers, they make a choice based on their gut feeling about a company,” explains Richard Wilke, Executive Director of Michael Page Sweden. “That feeling is often based on simple things, like the location and the working hours, but also on the company culture and the purpose and meaning of the job.” 

By understanding the purpose behind your company and being able to explain it to an audience outside of your employees, you will be able to hire the best available people. Although not all employers do this, the ones who do will more consistently and efficiently attract the talent they need to grow into the companies they wish to become.   

Communication and access to information today is quicker, more widespread and deeper than ever. Instant messaging, social media, in-company networks and review sites have opened worlds of information to everyone. Adapting to this new reality through genuine conversations will bring better candidates to your company, because purpose-driven cultures work.    

Key Insight: The search for meaning at work is a key driver for the best available candidates. People communicate differently today. Companies that react to this and speak to candidates and employees with this in mind will prosper over those that do not.

The flexible workforce is growing 

The gig economy, interim contracts and temporary contracts have all grown in importance in recent years for employees and employers. There is also a tacit understanding that a job for life no longer exists nor may even be appealing. 

“A growing portion of the working population in Sweden chooses to work as an interim or a temp,” says Richard Wilke. “The reasons can differ. Sometimes it´s because they can earn more money as an interim consultant, sometimes because it gives them more freedom, and the opportunity to take a few months off every year to do other things, and sometimes it´s a combination of these factors.” 

Harmonisation of social rights whatever the relationship to work, needs to happen, so that both full-time employees and part-time employees are treated the same. If universal social protection for all workers were to be introduced, regardless of their employment status, this would further protect individuals and facilitate the changes the labour market is going through, giving more flexibility to employees and employers.  

The statistics back this up: temporary contracts grew by 25% in the EU27 from 2001-12 (permanent contracts 7%), almost half (43.9%) of employees aged 15 to 24 were working on a temporary contract. In the Netherlands almost 2 million people have a flexible contract and 1.1 million people are self-employed. 

Key Insight: People are willing to work under many different contracts today, but the social safety net has not adapted to this new reality. Employers can drive this change by valuing all employees independent of their contractual relationship, benefitting both parties by creating the flexible workforce you need to grow.

How do you differentiate your company from the competition?  

Salary and a good company name used to be the primary motivators for candidates. And job offers that use these parameters do still attract applicants. However, hiring managers admit that interaction with standard form job offers is falling across all platforms.    

In today’s landscape, applicants want to understand the achievements and social commitments of companies. They want to know what causes and issues the company supports. They want to know what it is like to work at a company and understand the purpose behind their mission, to deeply understand company values. Why? Because today, people are more aware of equality between genders and minorities and want to see non-discrimination rules put in place to protect themselves and others.   

As long as candidates are pre-selected using available technology, why would they not use the tools at their disposal to pre-select employers? Candidates want to understand what position they will occupy, to understand their tasks in a wider context, allowing them to evaluate their real, actual contribution to the company mission to achieve more fulfilment in work and life.   

How can you combat this? By being clear about the question's candidates ask, or at least have the answers they are looking for. Michael Page interviews thousands of candidates every week and understanding what candidates look for drives our business. We can help you look at your company from the perspective of potential applicants and come up with responses to the following questions:   

  • Why choose your company over another if the offer is similar?  

  • What type of management do you practice?   

  • What tools will I use to make my work more efficient, effective and productive?   

  • What impact will my work have on the business?   

  • How will I reach my goals?  

Key Insight: A good offer today involves more than just a high salary and a good company name. It should help to differentiate your company from others, but also give an indication of what working with you will be like.  

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