What are Candidates Looking for in 2023?

In our experience, the things that motivate candidates have changed since the pandemic, and we are seeing trends adapt to the needs and demands of a workforce that has been forever changed by the past few years.

As candidate’s expectations and priorities are evolving, we want to share with you the top 5 trends that we expect to see through 2023.

Candidate working at a laptop
Employees smiling in a meeting

Employer Brand

Employer branding is becoming increasingly important. It is vital for companies to position themselves as a company that cares about its employee’s wellbeing and development and being ‘people-first’, as well as demonstrating clear values for diversity and inclusion.

An effective employer brand will attract potential employees like a beacon. According to LinkedIn, 75% of candidates will research a company’s reputation before applying for a job opening, so having a good reputation and employer brand is integral to being attractive to candidates, and then having a good pool to choose from.

The sort of thing that candidates will be looking out for include employee testimonials, company communication with the public, an understanding of company values, strong leadership, and clear mission statements. Gaining feedback on these areas from your employees can help you improve your employer brand.

Career Development & Upskilling

LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Trends Report shows that upskilling was one of the top priorities for workers. Candidates want to begin in roles that will invest in their future and development, with skills enabling them to move into other areas of the business if required, offering more stability.

A study conducted by Workplace Intelligence found that 74% of workers are likely to leave a job due to lack of skill development. This is giving a clear message to employers for 2023 that upskilling needs to be a priority.

The motivation behind this drive for development and upskilling goes beyond a salary increase or promotion, candidates are drawn to the idea of creating a better work experience and having a greater sense of purpose. It’s also worth considering that if an individual isn’t being challenged and can’t see room for growth in the long-term, then there may be no point in joining a new business at all.

Woman working at her desk
Women happily walking


Given the impact that Covid-19 has had these past few years, wellbeing and employee happiness has become, and will continue to be, a top priority for candidates in 2023. Research conducted by Glassdoor tells us that burnout amongst UK workers hit record levels last year, so investing in employee wellbeing is a must.

Companies must be able to demonstrate how they support employees both in and outside of the office. How you prioritise mental health and wellbeing will differ depending on your business… Do you provide mental health days? Are wellbeing sessions on offer? Are leaders empathetic?

Promoting wellbeing and mindfulness gives employers the chance to provide the best possible working environment, and perks surrounding this have now come to be expected.

Remote Work & Flexibility

Remote working and Flex Culture is here to stay – it has become clear that the shift to remote working isn’t shifting back. Most candidates will expect some degree of flexibility, whether that be working from home, hybrid models, or flexible hours.

LinkedIn data shows that, in November 2022, 21.1% of all job applications were for roles that offered remote work, almost double that of January 2021 (11.6%). Yet by November, only 11.1% of jobs advertised on LinkedIn offered remote work as an option – dropping from 15.6% of roles in January 2022, and even lower than the 12.2% proportion of remote roles in January 2021.

The figures are suggesting that many more people want remote work than can find it, and furthermore, a survey conducted by ivanti tells us that 66% of employees would prefer the ability to work from home over a promotion, and 49% would consider a pay cut!

Although not all businesses can offer a WFH solution, there are other forms of flexibility that can be implemented, such as job shares, compressed work weeks, and flexible scheduling. Of course, how you accomplish this with your business will depend on the type of work you do, and the feedback of your employees.

According to Timewise, 9 in 10 people want to work flexibly, and 5 in 10 currently do. Despite a real shift in attitudes towards flexible working during the pandemic, still only 30% of jobs are advertised with any kind of flexibility (up from 26% last year).

Companies embracing remote work will widen their talent pool, and the demand for hybrid working and flexibility makes it clear that these offerings will give you an edge in the fight for talent!

Candidate working remotely
Candidate shaking interviewers hand

Taboo, but Salary…

It may be a taboo, but salary is one of the key considerations for candidates right now — especially so in the cost-of-living crisis we are experiencing. Candidates are seeking out compensation that can sustain them as best as possible in the current climate.

LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Trends Report saw employees rank compensation as their number one priority, and data from Remote.co has found that 80% of employees say that their current salary is not keeping up with inflation. This isn’t a surprising discovery with the way inflation has soared over the past year.

With the competition for staff still being hot, offering a competitive salary that’s in line with the candidates level of experience will give you an advantage.


If you’re looking to hire exceptional talent to join your team, call our expert consultants on 01473 252 666 to learn more about how we can help you.