Workplace

LinkedIn data reveals what workers want more than money

Jobseekers’ priorities have changed since the pandemic. LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends Report shows what they want now.

Two people looking at a computer screen in an office.

LinkedIn scoured job listings and company posts to see what’s top of mind for employers and jobseekers.

Photo: Charday Penn via Getty

It’s never been harder to compete for talent. Jobseekers are drowning in options, so companies have to be strategic when it comes to how they present company culture online.

LinkedIn has been watching how different keywords correlate to engagement on company posts, and which words have been appearing more often in job listings on the site. The terms “flexibility,” “well-being” and “culture” all appear in LinkedIn posts more often than they did in 2019, LinkedIn revealed Tuesday in its 2022 Global Talent Trends Report. Company posts that use those terms also attract more engagement, LinkedIn found.

“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. “Organizations are looking at: What are those true, unique differentiators in their culture that go beyond in-office perks?”

Shappley walked us through some of the report’s key findings, and what they might mean for hiring and retaining top talent.

Flexibility

Rigid work schedules and office attendance requirements are so last decade. Since 2019, LinkedIn has seen an 83% increase in job posts that mention flexibility, a term that’s also surfaced in 343% more company posts on the website. Company posts that use the word attract 35% more engagement, with more interest from Gen Z and millennial users, LinkedIn found.

“More remote, more flexible work arrangements are here to stay,” Shappley said. “This isn’t something that was a moment-in-time adjustment.”

The younger workers are, the more likely they are to show interest in a company post using the word “flexibility.” Posts using that word got 77% more engagement from Gen Z users and 30% more engagement from millennials. 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.

Younger workers are unwilling to give up the flexibility they gained during the pandemic. That could mean new, more-virtual ways of offering mentorship and networking opportunities to early-career professionals, Shappley said.

“Organizations have to figure out how to still maintain the camaraderie, how to still maintain that close working relationship that people early in their career need, in a way that does not rely on everybody being in person,” Shappley said.

Well-being

Hustle culture is out. LinkedIn users — especially women — are showing more interest in posts and job listings that mention well-being.

Employers are listening: Since 2019, LinkedIn saw a 147% increase in the share of job posts that mentioned “well-being.” In the same time frame, there was a 73% increase in company posts about well-being, which got 5% more engagement from LinkedIn users of any gender and 41% more engagement from women specifically.

“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.”

Younger workers were more likely than older workers to say they wanted companies to invest more in mental health and wellness-related initiatives. Two-thirds of Gen Z and half of millennials shared this view, compared with 41% of Gen X and 31% of baby boomers.

It’s no surprise, then, that more professionals selected work-life balance (63%) as a top priority when job searching than even compensation and benefits (60%) or colleagues and culture (40%).

Culture

Company posts that mentioned culture saw 67% more engagement on LinkedIn, the report found.

“If you don’t put your candidates and employees at the center of it, you’re going to lose the talent game,” Shappley said. “Looking and treating folks as a whole human has never been more important.”

According to LinkedIn, 59% of workers said investment in professional development opportunities should be a primary way to improve company culture, while 48% chose flexible work support. Mental health and wellness was a top priority for 42%, and 35% 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.

Continuing to invest in culture is key as companies fight not only to hire, but to retain talented workers.

“Long-term success is dependent on your employees being healthy and having the time to think big,” Shappley said.

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Google is wooing a coalition of civil rights allies. It’s working.

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A map display of Washington lines the floor next to the elevators at the Google office in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As Google has faced intensifying pressure from policymakers in recent years, it’s founded trade associations, hired a roster of former top government officials and sometimes spent more than $20 million annually on federal lobbying.

But the company has also become famous in Washington for nurturing less clearly mercenary ties. It has long funded the work of laissez-faire economists who now defend it against antitrust charges, for instance. It’s making inroads with traditional business associations that once pummeled it on policy, and also supports think tanks and advocacy groups.

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Ben Brody

Ben Brody (@ BenBrodyDC) is a senior reporter at Protocol focusing on how Congress, courts and agencies affect the online world we live in. He formerly covered tech policy and lobbying (including antitrust, Section 230 and privacy) at Bloomberg News, where he previously reported on the influence industry, government ethics and the 2016 presidential election. Before that, Ben covered business news at CNNMoney and AdAge, and all manner of stories in and around New York. He still loves appearing on the New York news radio he grew up with.

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