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What Does a Candidate Look for in an Employer?

  • March 24, 2016

Alexander Lloyd's Accountancy team explore job seeker's criteria when it comes to considering a new employer.

In a time when both job seekers and employers are cautious about moving roles and hiring respectively, it is inevitable that the tick list of requirements grows ever longer and more stringent.  Employers are becoming stricter on their requirements, only engaging someone if they match their criteria almost exactly, whereas job seekers are understandably not willing to consider moving roles unless the employer meets their criteria. Obviously what a candidate is seeking is eminently personal to them and will differ greatly dependent on the individual, however, our consultants do see trends appearing in line with changing market conditions. 

Security vs Opportunity

In more stable times, most job seekers are looking for opportunity, whereas in our current market, security is very much in the forefront of minds.  This has a direct impact on the types of companies that job seekers are looking to target as the perception that a larger company equates to increased security over an SME persists, leading some unwilling to pursue SME options.


Location of an employer plays a huge role in any job hunting.  For some, relocating for a role is a feasible option, particularly if they are seeking career advancement or are out of work. For others however, the risk of relocation is simply too high to contemplate and links directly to the issue of security.  What happens if one makes the move only to find yoursellf redundant a year down the line?IndustryIndustry specific experience plays an increasingly prominent role in employer’s decision-making process.  For a candidate, the employer’s industry also plays a significant role as many will be drawn towards those industries that they already have experience in, considering that they will a) be more attractive to a potential employer, and b) having an established knowledge base upon which to rely.  For others though, a new industry may pose new and exciting challenges and widen their knowledge base, leading to new opportunities.

Company Culture

Company culture may be of slightly less concern than location, company size and industry, but it is an important element that should not be disregarded.  Entirely dependant on the individual, a cultural fit in an important factor that employers also consider carefully.  If a collaborative culture is an environment that best suits the job seeker’s personality they will be less inclined to operate in a more rigid structure that does not encourage their preferred manner of operating.

Remuneration Package

What an employer can offer in terms of an entire package, not just a basic salary has become increasingly important, although the weight attached to individual benefits will differ dependant on the individual.  It does not pay to underestimate their importance however and employers must look carefully at the component parts of their benefits on offer and the manner in which they can be used to attract talent. 

Whilst employers have tight criteria that jobs seekers must meet in order to be successful, it remains the fact that they must also tick the boxes of the job seeker and present as an attractive proposition in order to attract the highest calibre of candidate.  It will work to a job seekers advantage to have an idea of what exactly their criteria is, however a word of caution that a too specific approach may mean that you allow opportunities to pass you by