Recent global events have reshaped candidate priorities.  The world has seen significant unrest…a global pandemic and an unlawful invasion have caused a mass shift in perspective.  What once seemed important, no longer holds the same weight.

Findings from a survey conducted at the end of 2021, highlight this perfectly.  When employees were asked what their criteria were for choosing and remaining with an employer, ‘support and care for employees’ came out top.

The study revealed that a positive and caring environment is more important to UK applicants than a generous salary, benefits, or bonus structure.

A talent crisis.

Although buoyant, the UK job market is a tough place for employers right now.  Finding the talent to fill a vacancy is tricky. An abundance of open vacancies and a smaller than ever candidate pool mean that companies everywhere must pull out all the stops to attract candidates or risk losing them to employers.

The results from the study cited above (and others like it) reveal that it’ll take more than deep pockets to attract the best. Great news for SMEs without the budgets of the big hitters. For once, the playing field is evened. It could be argued that small to medium employers are in a better position than their larger counterparts to give employees what they want from work.

Build a company culture.

Today’s job seekers are discerning. 60% of applicants research and assess each organisation before they apply for a job.  Their criteria are high and hold each company up against 6 core values before hitting ‘submit’.  Creating a company brand you can be proud of and communicating it effectively has never been more crucial.

The 6 core values.

Here are the 6 core values that candidates use to rank current and future employers.  As an employer are you doing enough? Are you an attractive proposition?


Candidates and employees want to know that you care for your employees as well as you care for your customers.  They want to see if your benefits and culture is one that supports the workforce both inside and outside the office.  And if the workplace environment is one that promotes well-being and balance.


Candidates and employees want an interesting, challenging, and stimulating work environment. It is also becoming more important that the organisation demonstrates an interest in all its stakeholders, and this includes the value it adds to wider society.


A social, collaborative ethos that prioritises teamwork is essential to the post-pandemic workforce.  Candidates are looking for organisations that encourage cross-departmental projects and those that host social events and family fun days.


Going beyond salary, economic values have wide parameters. Candidates want to know if the business has good financial ethics; that it has a fair and transparent pay structure; that the business is sustainable and financially secure and that the financial benefits on offer have value.


Learning and development opportunities are critical to employees. An organisation must offer an investment in the development of its people with achievement recognition, career development opportunities, and a structured path to promotion.

Here are some tips to support Learning and Development in the Tech Sector.


Post pandemic candidates know they have the skills and knowledge to contribute more broadly than just those that fall within their professional remit. They want to work in a company that values ideas and encourages their input. They want to work in a business that values innovation.

Communicate the values.

Communicating and living the values is as important as having them.  UK vacancies have never been higher and talented candidates have never enjoyed so many options.

To be competitive, employers must make sure they not only communicate their values but live and breathe them.  Applicant research reveals the attitude and execution of these values, and many organisations are falling short.

Communicating values that positively promote the culture and ethos of the brand is critical and employers must do so as a precursor to the recruitment process. They must use social media, corporate websites, and review platforms to demonstrate their actions and principles authentically and effectively.

The employer brand must embody the values.

The company’s actions must embody the values. Research from Monster has found that more than two-thirds of candidates won’t accept a job in a company with a poor reputation even if they were unemployed.   Faced with a decision over several brands saying the same thing, candidates will accept a job with shared values.

To conclude.

Assessing your organisation’s performance against these core values will help you attract and retain talent. Honestly measuring your output will offer insights into where you could improve and where you excel.

These values were shared across candidates of all age groups…Gen Z, millennials, and boomers alike, and as such, it can be surmised that at all salary or responsibility levels, these are universal desirables.

The effective communication of values will spark interest, but it is the authentic execution of these values that truly matter. Candidate research will expose those organisations that don’t practice what they preach. It isn’t enough to say you care. Candidates will want to see organisations that actively prioritise employee care, ethics, economic sustainability and who use development opportunities to stimulate and excite their employees.

Do you need help hiring tech, digital or data talent amid a tight jobs market? Why not work with Ignite?

Reach out today!

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

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