What do Candidates Really Want from an Employer?


Clients, automotive skill shortage, motor trade recruitment...

The Automotive Industry is a highly competitive one. Add to this the fact that it’s now a candidate driven market and it becomes extremely important that employers are offering their staff the right things to ensure they attract the best candidates.

It can be a common assumption that employees want exclusive perks and big bonuses but the truth is that most employee’s needs are more complex than this. While a good salary and benefits will influence a candidate’s decision to join a company, businesses need to understand what their employees really want in order to retain them in the job.

The team at Perfect Placement speak to candidates’ day in, day out and we frequently hear the following things mentioned as key things that their current employers are lacking which drives them to seek out a new job.

  1. Feeling Valued – The most successful businesses take the view that their staff are their most important asset and will go the extra mile to demonstrate this. Employees at all levels want to feel appreciated for the work they do and it has a bigger impact on productivity than you may think! Recognising hard work and commitment goes along way and is vital for building a positive culture. In turn, you’ll see improved attrition rates and your employees will be your biggest advocates which will help attract future talent.  It doesn’t always have to come at a cost either, a simple thank you, a shout out to the wider team or another small token of appreciation are all simple but effective ways to show staff you’re grateful for the work they do.
  2. Training and Development – Lack of training and opportunities to progress are the most commonly cited reasons for employees leaving their jobs, yet training staff is vital if you want to stay ahead of your competition. The Motor Trade has seen so much innovation in the last decade including the rise in hybrid and electric vehicles, advanced safety features and changes to the ways people buy and test drive vehicles with the help of technology. The Automotive industry is such an exciting industry to work in and candidates want to be working with the latest trends. No matter the type of automotive business you run, it is important you upskill your staff to ensure your customers get the best service and in turn, this will also fulfil your employees needs of continuous development.
  3. Flexible Working – The demand for flexible working has been on the increase in the last 5 years and is something wanted by all generations and all levels of seniority. For businesses who haven’t implemented structures to support flexible working it can seem like a costly and potentially damaging prospect but not doing so could cost the business far more in turnover and low morale. Most businesses operating in the Motor Trade are open 6 days a week and many require their staff to work long shifts during the week as well as weekend work. Furthermore, face-to-face customer interaction and access to tools are key in many Automotive jobs so how can these roles be made flexible? Job sharing, splitting shifts and rotating shifts are all options for Motor Trade staff. Where relevant, businesses could also invest in technology to allow some functions to be completed at home. Promoting and facilitating better work life balance is beneficial to your business because it prevents employees reaching burnout and taking prolonged sick leave.
  4. A Focus on Wellbeing – Wellbeing covers a range of things including work life balance, mental health, physical health and even safety at work. The UK workforce has become much more tuned in to the importance of well-being in general and this has put more pressure on employers to take responsibility for their staff. Employees with poor health whether that be physical or mental are more likely to have higher absences, lower morale and be less engaged with their work so it is worth reviewing the culture of your workplace and discovering what areas you can improve. There are many simple ways you can help improve the wellbeing of your workforce such as healthier lunch options, encouraging them to take breaks and holidays as well as bigger investments such as healthcare, childcare support, gym memberships and more!
  5. A Bright Future – We all spend a lot of time at work and it can be easy to fall into the trap of tunnel vision and working to get paid without looking at the bigger picture. Make sure your employees are aware of your core values and mission. Let them know how their work positively affects your customers and what the business is working towards in the short term and long-term future. This will all help top make your employees feel like they are making a difference and contributing to the bigger goals. People who work with a purpose are more committed and motivated meaning the benefits will be felt all round. 

Every workplace will be different but the best way to ensure you’re giving your employees what they want is to ask them! Carry out an annual survey, look at what your competitors are doing and have open and honest conversations with your team. The most important thing is to not get complacent. In the current climate talented candidates hold the power and if you’re not working hard at being a responsible and attractive employer the chances are you’ll lose your dream candidate to your competition.

If you need help sourcing the perfect candidate for your role then you’ve come to the best place. We are the leading recruitment specialist for the UK Automotive Industry and have a team of experts ready to help you.

Contact us today by calling 01603 701 077 or find your local recruitment expert here.