In April, nearly four million Americans left their jobs for a variety of reasons. Whether it was a desire to return to school or change career paths, the workforce shifted. The massive amount of people leaving their jobs has resulted in a job market that is remarkably open, with nearly 9.2 million jobs at the end of May. However, people are leaving and they are not necessarily rushing back to work, begging the question: what will attract and retain workers today?
Recently, LinkedIn editor Andrew Seaman asked whether incentives or perks, like signing bonuses, are effective ways to attract job seekers. In response, many HR and talent experts offered their advice to job seekers evaluating these options. Read on to discover what they had to say about moving forward and getting hired in the post-pandemic world.
Do you want the job?
While this seems like an innocuous question, candidates need to consider whether they would accept the job without a signing bonus. The answer to that question is key. Director of the American Negotiation Institute Kwame Christian Esq., M.A. had this to say on the topic:
“People are drawn to instant gratification, which leads them to focus more on short-term payoffs than long-term ramifications. Not surprisingly, this psychological tendency can have a detrimental impact on the quality of your decision-making. If you find yourself being courted by a job that is offering a signing bonus, ask yourself this simple question: Would I still take this job if there wasn’t a signing bonus? If the answer is no, then it might not be the job for you.”
If you are only interested in a job because you will be receiving money or some other bonus upfront, it might not be worth it.
The most important thing about a job is the way you feel when you are there. If you work 40 hours a week, you spend nearly one-third of your life at your workplace. That is a long time — 25-30 years of your life — to be somewhere unfilling.
So, what you should be looking at when job seeking is the culture of your potential employer. Denise Beers-Kiepper, the Vice President of Human Resources at OTO Development, offered some example questions candidates might want to keep in mind to help you ascertain the values and culture of a company:
- How did the company treat its team members during the pandemic?
- What new benefits have you added in the last few years?
- Do you have a wellness program?
- What does workplace flexibility look like at the company?
- What was the biggest challenge in the past year for the company, and how did they navigate that?
In the same vein, Chief People Officer at LaRosa’s Steve Browne adds: “Too often people are just trying to ‘land’. They would be more successful long-term if they saw a great role, were attracted to the culture and knew they could add value. The ‘stuff’ won’t last long, and you don’t want to be someone who’s only chasing the next golden ring. I think you should evaluate and consider what a company’s offering along with the work past accepting the job.”
What do you actually want?
Based on the expert advice so far, we need to consider what job seekers actually want when looking for a new job. What is important to you? A good work-life balance, impressive healthcare, or a wellness program? And then you need to think of those features in a way that makes sense in reality. Tarah Harkins shares:
“The Total Rewards package is so much more than just the salary/bonus in the offer letter. And some perks are great, but others are less impactful. Ultimately, the perks may not tell you the whole story. A colleague recently accepted a role at a firm with unlimited vacation. That sounds awesome, but the reality was much different. The workload was so high that even taking one day off felt like letting the team down. Really consider which perks are life-changing and important for you.”
Every person has a list of priorities. Determine yours but always focus on the job itself. No matter the perks or incentives, the important thing is seeing yourself in the job and part of the company’s culture.