With UK unemployment falling back to levels last seen in 2019, it is safe to say that the UK’s employment outlook is a positive one – even in the face of major economic challenges brought on by the pandemic and Brexit together.
However, jobseekers in the UK are more switched-on than ever before, galvanised and understanding of their worth as a result. Employing from such a discerning cohort of professionals presents new challenges to businesses, as they compete for the best interviewees in their industry. What are prospective employees looking at before accepting an offer?
Company Culture and Ethics
Mental health is of growing importance to today’s workforce, as increased awareness of mental illness has inspired more to reckon with their wellbeing at home and work. As such, a company’s internal culture becomes a uniquely important factor in any applicant’s decision-making process. Does the company have a culture of ‘crunch’, or are there documented approaches to fostering a safe and stable working environment? Do employees get on, and is there an opportunity for social engagement?
The same goes for a company’s ethical standing; younger workers are far more principled as a rule, and in an age of climate crisis – and increased awareness of other global issues such as exploitation of labour – you should expect your business’s supply chain and ethos to be scrutinised by interviewees.
Health and Safety
This factor has ramifications in every industry but is especially prescient for prospective employees in the construction industry. Experienced workers are acutely aware of the dangers presented by an active worksite, whether they come from technical or construction roles.
Health and safety policy is a legal requirement for every business, but your business’ approach to administering that policy can make all the difference. Ensuring your policy is up to code and generous, including the provision of a high-quality PPE kit to employees as well as ample training, can give prospective employees that little bit more confidence in making their decision.
Many prospective employees are not simply in the market for immediate employment; they are in the market for a stable, long-term career. As such, the more robust a career path you can offer within your company’s structure, the more likely someone is to choose your business over others to work for. For those applying for entry-level positions, diversity in progression and the possibility to specialise is a big draw, while more senior applicants will be looking for concrete promotion pathways within their field.
Lastly, salary is an evergreen consideration for job seekers, though its importance often shrinks in comparison to more impactful factors such as long-term progression opportunities. However, recent economic strife has seen the cost-of-living skyrocket for the average household. This, combined with an overall emboldened workforce jaded by a decade of stagnating wages, has led to something of a jobseeker’s market.
Employment is more competitive than it has been in decades, and whether a prospective employee joins you or a competitor could simply fall to the salary they negotiate. You should endeavour to expand your personnel budget where possible if only to secure the cream of the crop when it comes to the employment pool.