The Job Offer: What Do Candidates Really Care About?

The job market is more competitive each and every day. Attracting the best talent now requires a flawless and compelling recruiting process, even beyond sourcing, screening and interviewing. But even as the recruiting process is becoming more sophisticated, almost half of all job offers are being rejected.

What are candidates looking for and where are employers falling short?

Our recent report, Talent Attraction Study: What Matters to the Modern Candidate, revealed which factors candidates consider when deciding to accept or reject a job offer. The Indeed survey conducted online by Harris Poll in July among over 2,000 adults in the UK revealed that compensation is unsurprisingly the #1 consideration for 60 per cent of employed candidates, but we discovered there are other factors that play an equally important role in candidates’ decisions.

Here’s a closer look at the top three things people evaluate in a job offer:

Competitive pay and compensation

While compensation may be the most obvious way to attract in-demand talent, 9 per cent of employed candidates revealed, after they were hired for their current jobs, that they didn’t accept a recent job offer because of poor pay and compensation. 60 per cent of employed candidates claimed pay would most attract them to a new job during their search.

Along with being compensated for in-demand skill sets, people want to feel desired and valued by their employer, and compensation is often a clear sign of that value.

Location, location, location

When considering a new job, candidates are highly aware of location. 43 per cent of employed candidates reported that an opportunity with a good location would most attract them to a job offer. 10 per cent also rejected their most recent job offer because it wasn’t in the right location. As recruiters and hiring managers, it’s sometimes essential to look outside your geographic location for the talent you need.

Remote options can be another way around this challenge. As Indeed Chief Economist Tara Sinclair says, “remote work provides a way for jobseekers to move in different career directions without being limited by where that work is done. It also provides options for employers who find it hard to choose one location that will satisfy all of their talent constituencies—something that’s especially important when hiring candidates with in-demand skills.”

Flexibility in work and in life

To attract and retain the best talent, employers have to adapt to candidates’ need for flexibility in the workplace. 41 per cent of employed candidates were attracted to a job because it offered flexible hours.

“One of the most fundamental shifts in the labor market over the past 20 years has been a progression away from a ‘live to work’ mentality to a ‘work to live’ mentality,” says Barb Bidan, VP of global talent acquisition at Indeed. “The very best talent will simply demand better for themselves and will gravitate towards companies, and opportunities that are employee-centric and that have a clear mission to respect the employee as an individual whose life, and interests, extend far beyond the workplace.”

Employers that understand what motivates the modern candidate will be equipped to fully leverage their benefits in a way that attracts top talent to their jobs. Whether it be fantastic pay, an infrastructure for remote work or flexibility in the workplace, listening to the needs and desires of great candidates will give your job offers a leg up, especially when in-demand people are evaluating multiple opportunities.

To read more about our findings on how candidates make decisions today, download your free copy of the Talent Attraction Study: What Matters to the Modern Candidate.

Talent Attraction Study: What Matters to the Modern Candidate.


Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Indeed from July 1-8, 2015, among 8,093 adults ages 18 and older within Germany (n=2,030), France (n=2,029), Netherlands (n=2,008) and United Kingdom (n=2,026). A global post-weight was applied to ensure all countries received an equal weight in the total global data. No estimates of error can be computed. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact pr@indeed.com.