CP Dream Job 1

In an era when talent is scarce and employers are scrambling to fill key positions, many candidates feel like they have a chance to land their dream job. But what are applicants looking for when they evaluate a role, and what can companies do to make their employer brand more attractive in this challenging market?

To find out, Michael Page surveyed over 5,000 employees and jobseekers across Europe. We asked them about the kind of contracts they preferred, their commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), their ideal work arrangements and more. Read on to discover what turns a good job into a dream job.

Landing the right contract

After two years of COVID disruptions, it’s no surprise that our respondents placed a high value on stability. When asked what type of contract they were willing to consider for their next position, a full 80% said they would prefer a permanent position. Just over a third (34%) said they would like a temporary contract, while 15% would be happy with any kind of position.

Finding the perfect-sized company

Respondents were asked to choose their ideal company size: small, middle or large. Preferences were fairly evenly split, with middle-sized companies the top choice (chosen by 41% of respondents) followed by large companies (30%) and small companies (25%).

Why do candidates gravitate towards middle-sized companies? Of the respondents who preferred middle-sized companies, over a third (36%) highlighted the fast decision-making they believe is a hallmark of these organisations. Other advantages identified by these respondents include more training opportunities (30%) and a clear strategic vision (27%).

Candidates who prefer large companies seem to be mostly motivated by the chance to accelerate their professional development and earn a better salary. Of the respondents who preferred large companies, nearly half (46%) were drawn to the training and development programmes these organisations are known for, while promotion opportunities and better remuneration were highlighted by 39% and 27% of these respondents, respectively.

While small companies were the least favoured option, the responses make clear that these organisations have several unique advantages. Accelerated decision-making was highlighted by 41% of the respondents who preferred small companies, while 40% were attracted to the kind of organisational culture you tend to find in a “human-sized” company. Just over a third (34%) of respondents drawn to small companies liked the idea of having more autonomy to manage their own tasks.

Getting the benefits you need

In today’s knowledge economy, jobseekers are focused on acquiring the skills they need to succeed. No surprise, then, that a full 71% of respondents placed training and career development among their most-wanted employment benefits. This was followed by private healthcare for employees and their families — a top priority for just over half (51%) of respondents. Other benefits that make a difference include financial advantages (chosen by 35% of those surveyed), a company car (also 35%) and company-issued devices (34%).

Working for a socially responsible employer

These days, candidates aren’t just looking for a salary boost and career development opportunities. Three-quarters (75%) of survey respondents said they wanted to work for a company committed to corporate social responsibility or CSR. Asked to identify the most important CSR values, 97% chose human rights, while environmental responsibility and economic responsibility were highlighted by 96% and 94% of respondents, respectively.

Flexible work arrangements

Millions of employees found themselves working from home for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic — and our survey suggests that a majority would like to continue with this arrangement. Well over half of respondents (59%) said they would like to work remotely either some or all of the time. Women seem to value flexible arrangements more than men — 65% of the former said they would like to work from home on a part or full-time basis versus 53% of the latter.

How would candidates like to divide their time between home and office? The most popular arrangement is three days at the office, two days at home, preferred by 36% of respondents. Around one in five (19%) would like to work from home at least four days per week, while just 10% like the idea of spending just one day from home.

The trend for remote working shouldn’t disguise the fact that many employees enjoy working in the office. The key motivation for these workers is the chance to socialise: 60% of respondents highlighted the advantages of having informal meetings with colleagues, while 50% enjoy the kind of social links and relaxing moments that are only possible in an office environment.

Office-based teams may also benefit from greater employee engagement. More than four in 10 respondents (41%) emphasised the importance of face-to-face meetings, while 39% said they felt more engaged with their job when working on-site.

Making dream jobs come true

If you’re determined to find your dream job, Michael Page can help. Start your search today by visiting our jobs board. And if you’re an employer looking to hire top talent in your industry and location, don’t hesitate to contact one of our expert recruiters

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