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Employer value proposition: how has it changed since 2020?

This is part nine of a series of blog posts pulled from our extensive New World of Work 2022 Survey Report. Here, we explore what elements of an employer are more valuable to job candidates now than in 2020.

Keith MacKenzie
Keith MacKenzie

Passionate about human resources, employment, and business management, and an expert at sharing that expertise.

employer value proposition

Now that we know what values are becoming more important to employers when evaluating candidates, let’s look at it from the other side – what’s becoming more important for candidates when looking at job opportunities?

In other words – what do candidates want in a job?

With employers struggling to attract and retain candidates (in some sectors, at least), the natural move would be to enhance their employer value proposition (EVP).

So let’s look at what employers find is most appealing to candidates in today’s job market:

Total rewards are totally rewarding

Perks, benefits, time off, etc., is seen to be becoming far more important now than they were perceived to be in 2020. In other words, that package is called “total rewards”. The more an employer can offer in total rewards, the more alluring a job can be for a prospective hire.

Check the data: 56.9% of employers find that overall compensation is now becoming more important in the eyes of candidates compared with 36% two years ago.

That number has gone down from half of all employers in 2020 to just one quarter in 2022 (49.9% to 25.3%) for those who say it’s relatively unchanged in terms of importance.

Show me the money – yes, again

One part of total rewards is, of course, compensation. How much actual money will be paid in terms of salary and bonuses and so on?

As it happens, this is also becoming more important for candidates according to employers in 2022 (56.2%) compared with 2020 (33.3%).

And again as above, the percentage of employers who say the importance of compensation for candidates is relatively unchanged has dropped from 51.9% in 2020 to 29.5% now.

One respondent did say that the expansion of companies to international talent markets has created a new challenge:

“For me the most difficult part is employee engagement and compensation. It’s a big challenge to keep a big company engaged (many people miss the ‘family’ feeling, while other people don’t know what it means as they joined remotely). Regarding compensation, many international companies are now offering US salaries in Spain, which makes it difficult to reach for Spanish companies.”

“For me the most difficult part is employee engagement and compensation. It’s a big challenge to keep a big company engaged (many people miss the ‘family’ feeling, while other people don’t know what it means as they joined remotely). Regarding compensation, many international companies are now offering US salaries in Spain, which makes it difficult to reach for Spanish companies.”

Upward trajectory a necessity

Career paths and growth are also in the minds of candidates. This year’s employers say that career opportunities are becoming more important for candidates (49.6%) than in 2020 (34.6%).

The percentage of employers who say the importance of this is unchanged has dropped from 56.3% in 2020 to 40.2% now.

No need for security now

Job security – at one time quite an important value proposition – became less important for candidates in 2022 than it was two years ago.

Only half (50.9%) of this year’s employers say it’s becoming more important now, drastically down from four out of five (79.8%) two years ago.

With recent economic instability and increase in layoffs, however, this number may change again going into 2023.

What does all this tell us?

Candidates and jobseekers have the upper hand now when evaluating job opportunities. They don’t worry about job security as much because they know employers need them more than they need employers.

So, they’re more interested in what they can get out of a specific job opportunity – i.e. the compensation, the benefits, the career growth – than they are interested in simply getting a job.

We mentioned this above – this may look slightly different in 2023, but only in some industries. Companies are still struggling to fill roles in some sectors, whereas other sectors are seeing a nearly unmanageable influx of talented candidates every time they open up a new job.

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