Are we really talking about 2023? Has it been nearly three years since the pandemic started? So much has changed along the employment landscape in the last three years and the war for talent has never been tougher.

How do companies attract the right talent in this new world? Should they focus on employer branding? Higher salary? Perks? Benefits? There are some very interesting candidate-driven trends emerging.

The remote versus in-office debate has taken main stage in all recruiting conversations. Job boards have added this preference as an option for filtering open roles. In fact, this point of flexibility has seemingly replaced compensation as the primary decision maker for jobseekers. I remember when salary was a typical deal-breaker question (after some pleasantries). Yet today, it’s all about the preferred work environment.

In this past year of recruiting, a vast majority of candidates have required remote work to move forward in the application process. In the past 2 weeks alone, we’ve lost track of the number of interviews where this was the top candidate question. The money didn’t matter! As of this post, my last 3 offers were negotiated to include a remote option. In a job market that has candidates receiving and considering multiple job opportunities, we’ve seen candidates flip-flop on their desire to work in-office when presented with competing opportunities to work from home. We’ve landed them, but only once our clients agreed to make a remote work environment part of the deal.

In two recent LinkedIn polls, we asked employees/potential candidates:

Which workplace benefit appeals to you the MOST? The overwhelming response (78%) responded with “Compressed Work Week.” The next closest was “Sabbatical / Extended Leave.” This indicates that employees value their personal time more than ever before.

Which work arrangement do you REQUIRE?
Remote Only                                54%
Hybrid (1-2 days in office)          30%
Hybrid (3 days max in office)     13%
In office 100%                               3%

Given this insight, why are employers reluctant to provide this option, especially when it worked so well during the pandemic? While we realize that remote work is not an option for some companies, how do they match this benefit to attract and retain employees? We’ll share our findings in the next post, but are also eager to hear your thoughts. Whether from the employer or employee standpoint, please let us know what’s working for you in the comments below.