Candidate expectations

Going beyond the paycheque

Show up to work. Get your paycheque. Welcome to the 1950s. The world of work has moved considerably past the transactional relationship between employers and employees.

Benefits have gone from strength to strength, from birthday leave to bring your dog to work days, the past few years have got us thinking about what’s important to us, what really makes us happy, and how to get the most out of our week.

Offering a competitive salary is one thing, but to truly keep up with the market and get ahead, employers need to consider what they can offer beyond the money.


Candidates are demanding flexibility. A 2023 global Talent LinkedIn poll revealed that 95% of respondents preferred either a fully remote or hybrid model of working. The majority (46%) preferred a hybrid model, seeking to be in the office 1-2 days per week, followed by 34% who preferred remote work, with 0 days in the office. A Global Workplace Analytics poll of 1,500 technology professionals also revealed that candidates aren’t messing around when it comes to working from home. 37% would take a 10% pay cut to work remotely. If companies mandate a full-time office arrangement, they are at risk of losing out on top talent to competitors.

Having the ability to work from home and flexibly is still holding as one of the top priorities we are seeing amongst candidates so far this year.

Chelsea Grundy

Chelsea Grundy,
Senior Consultant,
Talent Auckland

Health and wellbeing days

Health and wellbeing is increasingly important especially given that COVID-19 wasn’t left in 2020, despite all of our NYE wishes. Health and wellness improves morale, increases productivity and engagement, and boosts job satisfaction. Treat your people well or they’ll find somewhere that does - it’s a no brainer! Not sure where to start? Our contractors told us what they want to see from employers in our Contractor Wellbeing Report 21/22.

Generous parental leave

If you haven’t looked at your parental leave policy lately, this should be at the top of your to-do list. Competitive companies are giving primary and secondary caregivers more paid leave, more benefits, and more return to work support.

Culture & purpose

A strong company culture can make or break a candidate’s decision to join your team. Candidates are increasingly in search of companies where there is a culture and values fit, as well as an opportunity for them to make a real difference. Ensure you are prioritising your culture, creating a space where people feel that they belong, and that you are also making your prospective candidates aware of all the great things they can be a part of by working with you.

Don't leave your contractors out in the cold

You also want to ensure that this extends to all candidates - you can't forget about your contractors. Despite the freedom and overall satisfaction that comes with working freelance, contractors are at a higher risk of feeling disconnected and isolated than their permanent counterparts. These contingent workers, much like permanent employees, seek a sense of connection, belonging and purpose, however, the nature of their work means they sometimes miss out.

According to our Talent Contractor Wellbeing Report 21/22, 86% of contractors said that it was important for them to feel connected to their employer’s mission and purpose, while 88% cited the importance of feeling connected to permanent employees. We already know that a happy workforce is an engaged workforce, so making sure that you are prioritising these factors for all your people is key.

For tips on building a supportive company culture and ensuring your people feel this sense of purpose and belonging, check out our DEI Hiring Toolkit here.

Candidates are increasingly seeking out companies with a strong culture and values that align with their own. In addition, candidates are looking for opportunities to make an impact and be a part of a team that is driving positive change.

Andrew Mackin Brown, Talent Perth Account Manager

We’ve seen a significant rise with candidates being more focused on doing work that aligns with their values and holds a purpose.

Chelsea Grundy, Senior Consultant, Talent Auckland

Employee Share Schemes & Employer Share Option Plans (ESOP)

Companies are increasingly jumping on the share scheme bandwagon, so if it’s not on your radar, it may be time to get across it. An Employer Share Option Plan will give everyone a piece of the pie and allow them to share in your company’s success. Offering these shares to your team members is a great benefit that adds to their overall remuneration package and ensures they feel invested in your company journey (literally).

Companies are realising that they cannot continue to compete on salaries alone and many companies have recently updated their staff benefits and employer value propositions in order to attract people in market. Benefits include additional annual leave, working from anywhere in the world, charity days along with health and wellbeing benefits.

Scarlett Cooke profile picture

Scarlett Cooke
Account Manager
Talent Sydney

Making an impact

In 2023, candidates are more conscious of their responsibility to the planet and community than ever… and they expect their employers to be on the same page. According to our Talent Sustainability: Awareness to Action insights report, 84% of tech candidates say that it is important for them to work for a company that prioritises environmental sustainability, so much so that 59% are influenced by a company’s commitment to this when deciding whether or not to accept a job offer.

So, if you want to bring the best in tech on board, your company needs to be taking its responsibility to people and the planet seriously. Think - robust ESG and CSR strategies that your people feel involved in and connected to.

We are seeing more candidates ask about our clients’ social responsibility policy and a desire for their work to create a positive impact in the world.

Kara Smith profile picture

Kara Smith,
Country Manager,
Talent NZ

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