Job candidates value a good atmosphere in their future workplace more highly than a high salary. That’s the conclusion of two recent studies by Page Personnel.

The job market in Belgium is booming. According to Federgon, the federation of HR service providers, there are currently around 1 million job openings.

Compared to other countries, employers in Belgium are having a tough time finding the right candidates. “Today, more than ever, companies need to do their utmost to tempt candidates to come and work for them,” says Thibaud Adès, Managing Director of Page Personnel Belgium.

The results of two recent studies of the local labour market by Page Personnel give a good indication of what companies need to do to attract candidates. These are the most important findings:

1. A high salary is not the most significant pull factor

The latest Page Personnel´s Confidence Index shows that a better salary motivates only 11% of job applicants. The Confidence Index is a quarterly survey of job candidates applying for jobs via the Page Personnel websites. 

Thibaud  Adès is not surprised by the results: “Of course salary is still important, but you need to offer so much more than that if you want to convince candidates. You need to offer them a positive experience. You need to be able to explain to them exactly how you will help them develop their career.”

2. Invest in developing professional skills

The most important driver for changing job is professional development: over 34% of all candidates would like to find a new job that will help them to grow professionally.

That´s why it is important that employers invest in training, says Thibaud Adès. “If you want to attract the best people, you need to tell job candidates up front what you will offer in term of training and development, in both hard and soft skills.”

3. Having a well-known employer brand is over-rated

Contrary to what many people think, most job candidates are not swayed by a well-known employer brand. 

Of all the factors considered important in a job, it ranks bottom. According to the Motivation Study by Page Personnel, the most important factor is the atmosphere at work.

These results confirm Thibaud Adès own experience of job candidates’ priorities. “Choosing a job is like choosing a life partner. You need to ‘click’ on an emotional level. As an employer, you need to make future employees feel that you will be there for them every step of the way.”

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