Candidate Expectations and New Job Motivations in 2022

Let’s take a look at what is motivating candidates to re-enter the job market right now, including what they want and expect from a new job in 2022.

Candidates have the upper hand in the marketing right now, and they want to be heard. Positively, the pandemic has created an opportunity for employees and candidates to feel confident asking the job and lifestyle accommodations that matter to them.

Depending on the industry, there are many factors contributing to how candidates want and expect to work in 2022. There are some things that are a little more specific to the pandemic, however most of these wants and expectations have been motivations for a long time.  Get more insight on the mass resignation and mass renegotiation.

With that, let’s dive into our topic at hand, and take a look at what candidates really want right now. And, most importantly, how we address these candidate motivations and expectations.


Compensation needs to correlate with the job, the skillset, the performance, and be comparable regardless of company, but more specific to the job. Don’t make a salary or pay the reason a great candidate walks away.

In fact, according to Robert Half International Inc. survey, 55% of companies focus their hiring strategies on increasing starting salaries and 44% are offering signing bonuses.

If you’ve negotiated as much as possible with your client and can’t increase compensation, make sure the following aspects are presented extremely well to…well, compensate!


Candidate and employee values have been shifting for years and while culture always seems to be a buzzword, it’s an integral part of a candidate deciding if your company is the right fit for them. And the recruitment process is often their first impression of your company’s culture – good or bad.

From how you treat them, to your communication style and consistency, to the environment of their client’s positions and available benefits, there are many aspects to shaping the experience of a candidate with your firm’s culture as well as the culture at the proposed position.

Candidates want to work for companies that value them, who make them feel heard, and who know they aren’t just a body in a seat. If you want long-term hires and lower turnover, suggest your client performs a culture checkup, and gives you insight.

Using technology for your communications can enhance your candidate’s experience as well as showcase your client’s culture favorably. Through the recruitment process, using a CRM and automation tool enables you to set up personalized templates and build out your ideal communication and process workflow. Sequences of communications and workflows should be customizable, personalized, and easy to set-up.

More Flexibility

On the other side of the coin from the compensation conversation is the ability to have flexibility. While not always easy for every industry or position, there are ways to offer more flexibility to future employees – and that’s what they’re looking for!

As we’ve seen through the pandemic, most people are more than capable of completing their work from home without being under the eye of micromanagers. Offering more flexibility also builds trust, which increases loyalty and reduces turnover.

In that same Robert Half International survey, 50% of companies are offering remote options and evaluating candidates outside of their office’s geography.

Not only does remote or more flexible work enlarge the talent pool from which you can now fish, it aligns with the changing values of workers allowing you to find someone that may be a better long-term fit.

Technology has played a huge role in being able to offer more flexibility to employees, as well as recruiters. Even staffing agencies and recruiting firms can work remotely by utilizing an ATS like Tracker’s that offers a one-stop cloud-based platform. Team members can easily collaborate, create reports, share tasks, and more, all from one central data location to avoid duplication.

Better Work-Life Balance

What’s the difference between flexibility and work-life balance? A lot. Flexibility can be created through company policies, such as a specific number of work-from-home days, more flexibility with core hours, etc. Work-life balance focuses on the work and the relationships, the expectations, the trust built to meet those, and the attitude toward achieving the goals in a reasonable and fair manner.

According to LinkedIn’s chief economist, Karin Kimbrough, work-life balance is now the top priority, stating, “While flexibility saw the biggest increase in importance during the pandemic, the most important priority overall is work-life balance — and it’s only becoming even more important in the age of hybrid work. And yet out of the top priorities, work-life balance is where companies are getting the worst marks from their own employees.”


Candidates don’t want to jump through hoops to be seen and considered. The process can be exhausting for all parties involved and the more convenient, the better.

Utilizing technology like video resumes and interviews are becoming preferred methods. Younger generations of workers want to be able to use their phones and quickly send or receive information without waiting.

Convenience isn’t only for the candidates either. Recruiting firms and clients alike are finding the use of technology to streamline their communications processes and stay on the same page, regardless of where they’re working from.

Clarity and Communication

Don’t ghost your candidates! One of the worst things you can do, especially right now, is to ghost your candidates. And, in staffing, this often means you have lost them for good. They may be a great fit for the role you get in 3 days, but not if they feel burned.

It’s an employee-driven market and they have options. Using a CRM (Candidate Relationship Management) tool to ensure consistent communication is vital to maintain and stay ahead of the competition for the already tight talent pool.

Just as we mentioned above, using tech will be life-changing for your recruitment team and will give your candidates the experience they want and are looking for.

And don’t forget in these communications to be upfront with your expectations. Let them know when you’re contacting them next, where you are in the process, and who will be in contact next.

If you have great candidates, the last thing you want to do is see them walk away because you didn’t talk to them in time. Be clear. Be upfront. Use tech to make sure you don’t drop the ball.

Security & Mobility

Security can be taken two ways. Job security as well as in some industries, such as healthcare and manufacturing, physical security. Both are equally as important and need to be a part of the conversation. As candidates are making big decisions on where to next land, they want to know they are going to be taken care of.

And unlike the mobility of working remotely, the mobility we’re talking about here is mobility within the company. What growth opportunities will the candidates have? While not all jobs will have this, if there is potential, that’s a big incentive right now for a candidate to take a lower-level job because they know they have upward mobility.

While not items you’ll likely begin the conversation with or include in the job posting, they need to be acknowledged and ready to discuss as candidates continue to shift their values when making their decision.

Next Steps to Meeting Candidate Expectations in 2022

Using an all-in-one recruitment platform, like Tracker, will help you optimize candidate sourcing, candidate experience and candidate placement rates.

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