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What Matters Most to Job Seekers
Published Friday, March 9, 2018

When candidates are considering job offers, they are looking beyond just the paycheck at other factors. According to a new survey from staffing firm Accountemps, more than one-quarter of workers cited vacation time as most important, while corporate culture and career advancement potential came in close behind. 

Workers were asked, "Aside from salary, which one of the following is the most important factor to you when considering a job offer?" Their responses:

  • Vacation time/paid time off 26 percent
  • Corporate culture/work environment 24 percent
  • Career advancement potential 21 percent
  • Work-from-home options 11 percent
  • Professional development/training 9 percent
  • Other 9 percent

Professionals in Boston, Des Moines and Salt Lake City say corporate culture holds the greatest appeal, while employees in ChicagoCleveland and Detroit value personal time off most.

The study also revealed younger workers value career advancement potential over anything else and women say vacation time is the key factor in job decisions, while men rank corporate culture highest.

"In today's employment market, companies need to put their best foot forward when making job offers and, beyond salary, highlight benefits that could entice candidates," says Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps. "Professionals want to be hired by organizations that support work-life balance and have values that align with their own. An attractive corporate culture can go a long way toward recruiting and retaining top talent."

Steinitz suggests that job seekers make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves before evaluating employment opportunities. Companies may not be able to offer everything, it's best to decide ahead of time what's most important.

  • Workers ages 55 and older are more interested in paid time off (29 percent) than those ages 35 to 54 (27 percent) and 18 to 34 (22 percent).
  • Professionals ages 18 to 34 prefer career advancement potential (30 percent) above all else, compared to those ages 35 to 54 (22 percent) and 55 and older (10 percent).
  • Female respondents say vacation time (27 percent) is the key factor in employment decisions, while men say corporate culture (25 percent) is most critical.

More information about compensation and benefits can be found on the Robert Half blog. The survey of workers was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,700 workers across 27 major U.S. cities.

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