A Gartner, Inc. survey of nearly 3,500 candidates in May 2023 revealed that 50 per cent of respondents accepted a job offer over a 12-month period but backed out prior to starting.

According to the survey, more than one-third (35 per cent) of candidates reported they received four or more offers during their last job search. Among nearly 2,000 candidates who recently accepted an offer, 47 per cent said they were still open to other job offers after accepting a position, while 42 per cent believed they could find a better job if they continued looking.

“Competition for talent remains steep – our research shows 59 per cent of HR leaders expect more talent competition in the next three months,” said Jamie Kohn, senior director in the Gartner HR practice. “We are seeing many candidates uncommitted to their new employer and keeping one foot in the job market.”

The Gartner survey found that among nearly 2,000 candidates, 59 per cent said they chose the offer they accepted in part due to greater flexibility in when or where they work. The other top drivers cited by candidates for accepting a new job offer were better work-life balance (45 per cent) and higher compensation (40 per cent).

Of the nearly 3,500 candidates polled, more than half (56 per cent) reported that the experience they have in their job is just as important to their job satisfaction as their compensation and benefits.

“Nearly 90 per cent of candidates said they have exited a hiring process due to at least one mismatch in employee value proposition (EVP) preferences,” said Kohn. “This includes compensation and benefits, but also things like flexibility in working hours, career pathing, skills development, team diversity and management style.”

Pay Transparency

Sixty-eight percent of candidates said they expect to see salary information in job postings; 64 per cent of candidates reported they are more likely to apply to a job that lists compensation in the description. In fact, nearly half of candidates (44 per cent) decided not to apply to a job in the 12-month period because the job description did not include salary information.

At a time when many companies are pushing return to office, candidate preferences are clear. Gartner’s survey found 75 per cent of candidates who can work remotely (i.e., are currently hybrid or remote) prefer to work remotely more than 50 per cent of the time. A May 2023 Gartner survey of 397 employees revealed that nearly half of employees (47 per cent) actively looking for a new job were doing so because they want more flexibility.

“When it comes to pay transparency and return to office mandates, organizations can either enhance or impede their talent attraction efforts based on the decisions they make,” said Kohn.

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