Consider the next step in your career. What’s most important to you? Money? A better work-life balance? Some other aspect or benefit?
A few years ago most would have said that seeking out a better salary is their top priority. Whilst salary is still an important factor for job seekers looking to secure a new role, low inflation has led to stagnant wages and employers are looking at costs rather than expansion. With a salary boost no longer a guarantee when moving jobs, job seekers are now looking at other benefits when considering their options. For example, over two thirds of people would now consider leaving their current role for a more flexible job, even if the roles were comparable.
This is just one of the many trends we’ve noticed as candidates’ priorities when looking for the next role in their career continue to change. To find out what three of the most important ones are, read on.
Opportunity for Advancement
If you’re looking to break into a new industry or you’re fresh to the workforce, then gaining new experience can be vital to your success. You may need to take up an entry level position to gain that exposure. So before you accept a new role, consider what experience you’re going to gain from it. Are they offering training in a new technology essential to your industry? Regardless of where you’re headed, it never hurts to gain new skills.
Having the desire to grow your career is great, and working for an employer who strives to help your professional growth is even better. Ask yourself if you’ll be challenged to grow in your next role and be sure to check what professional opportunities would be available. Will their training and development plan allow you the opportunity to complete any formal qualifications? Ask the interviewer what their expectations are for what you’ll achieve in the first three months, and how they will support you to accomplish them. Probe your potential employer to discover how you’ll be measured, and what plans they have in place for employee development.
Maybe you’re looking to work for a startup. Startups can often offer unmatchable growth, as you’ll grow at the same rate as the business. That means you’ll be right there as new opportunities arise and potentially be the first for consideration. If you accept a role in a company where there is little room for movement and you stop growing, you may find yourself launching a new job search soon after.
When it comes to company culture, the most important thing to decipher is whether the values of the employer align with your own. What kind of ethos do they embrace? How do they measure success? Are they people-orientated or results-focused? Do they place more value on competitiveness, or do they strive to nurture creativity? Google the employer and take note of their brand, and check to see if they have any online reviews.
Ask your prospective employer about their working style: do they favour flexible working hours? Month-end targets for Accountants can be quite demanding and some candidates prefer to meet these demands by remote working. So, if having a healthy work-life balance is important to you, then don’t hesitate to find this out before accepting your next role. Make sure to check you have a clear understanding of the work you’d be doing on a regular basis and how often overtime or extra hours may be required to accomplish the required results, especially at busy times of the year.
You spend a large portion of your time at work, so it’s important to get along with your colleagues and Managers. Whilst it may be hard to judge the personality and character of your Manager the first time you meet them, your interview is the perfect time to get a feel for those important insights. Discovering what they enjoy most about their workplace and their journey throughout the business can be helpful in getting to know both them and your potential employer. During your interview, you may have the chance to talk to some of the people you’ll be working alongside. This is a great opportunity to ask questions of the team. If not, you can always ask your interviewer to find out if they sound like people you’d get along with or, if you know that psychometric testing is undertaken for the role, then you can ask what personality types your potential colleagues are.
Sometimes, taking a job with a high salary but with little in the way of benefits can leave you more out of pocket, and with a number of extra headaches. With employers wanting to be more competitive in attracting the best talent, many now offer more flexible working arrangements.
Flexible working isn’t the only benefit to pursue either; remember that your annual leave limit may differ from employer to employer, as may sick leave (which can come in handy if you have family commitments) so remember to check it before making your next move. Travel allowances such as a company fleet vehicle or car parking can help ease monthly expenses too. Commission and profit share incentives are fantastic ways to top up your salary, so when your company makes more money, so do you. Finally, to promote healthier lifestyles for their employees, employers will sometimes offer free or subsidised health care, such as free eyesight checks as a part of their wellbeing allowance. If you look hard enough, you can find an endless number of benefits that reach further than just a paycheque.
We often hear about how difficult it can be for candidates to ask about remuneration packages; not everyone is comfortable talking about money and benefits, and when asked too early in the process employers may view this as a negative. The good news is that this is where engaging a Recruiter can be a great advantage. Instead of asking a potential employer all of the above questions, you can discuss with your Recruitment Consultant to get a better understanding of the best fit for you and your career.
Before you start looking for the next role in your career, consider why you’re really leaving. What are you looking for? Better benefits? A more flexible work environment? Salary is obviously an important factor when you’re considering your next job offer, but remember that when a job may lack a high salary, the complete package may well be far more rewarding. Whilst some employers will offer the above benefits as standard, sometimes you may need to dig a little deeper to see exactly what’s on offer. If you’re looking to make the next move in your career and need expert advice on finding the right fit, get in touch with myself or another OCG specialist today.