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Culture over compensation: What tech workers want from their jobs now

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Good morning! This Tuesday, LinkedIn has scoured its data for clues about what workers want more than a paycheck. I’m Allison Levitsky, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I lost Friday’s Wordle — but yesterday I got it in two tries!

Goodbye, hustle culture

LinkedIn released its 10th annual Global Talent Trends Report today, and it’s clear that for recruiters and hiring managers, there’s no going back to the “before times.” Sought-after workers want flexibility and company cultures that promote well-being, and employers are rewriting job descriptions accordingly. Here are a few highlights.

Job seekers are looking for more than a paycheck. LinkedIn found that job seekers prioritize work-life balance (63%) ahead of pay and benefits (60%) or culture and colleagues (40%).

  • The words “flexibility,” “well-being” and “culture” all appeared in LinkedIn posts more often in 2021 than in 2019, and company posts that used those terms attracted more engagement than those that didn’t.
  • “A lot of the things that employees look for, that people expected — that tech companies provided — have changed quite a bit in this new environment,” Jennifer Shappley, LinkedIn’s vice president of Global Talent Acquisition, told Protocol.

Younger employees prioritize flexibility. The word “flexibility” appeared in 83% more job listings in 2021 versus 2019, LinkedIn found. Company posts used the term 343% more over the same time period, and those posts attracted 35% more engagement.

  • Particularly interested in company posts that mentioned flexibility were Gen Z (77%) and millennial (30%) users. Gen X and baby boomers actually showed less interest in posts mentioning flexibility: Gen X showed 5% less engagement on these posts and boomers showed 31% less.
  • “More remote, more flexible work arrangements are here to stay,” Shappley said. “This isn’t something that was a moment-in-time adjustment.”

And women want a focus on well-being. Similarly, the word “well-being" appeared in 147% more job listings in 2021 than in 2019, and companies posted about well-being 73% more over the same period.

  • Women in particular showed interest in company posts about well-being, engaging with them 41% more, LinkedIn found.
  • “Women specifically juggle a lot,” Shappley said. “They are often managing career, family, multiple other hats outside the home, and the last couple of years have amplified that and really put them in the middle of trying to make all of this work.”

Improving company culture is the key to retention. Butwhere should you focus your efforts to build company culture? LinkedIn users surveyed in June had a few ideas.

  • The most popular areas of focus were professional development opportunities (59%), flexible work support (48%) and mental health and wellness (42%).
  • Thirty-five percent said they wanted to see more attention paid to “training managers to lead remote and hybrid teams.” Diversity and inclusion was a top priority to 26% of respondents.
  • “Long-term success is dependent on your employees being healthy and having the time to think big,” Shappley said.

Flexibility and well-being are more than buzzwords: They’re clues that the culture of work has changed dramatically in the last two years.

— Allison Levitsky (email | twitter)

Any guesses on what the 2024 report will bring? Let us know by replying to this newsletter or emailing us at

This story originally appeared on Read it here.


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