Recruiter Insights: What Candidates Want

8 months ago by Michelle Ullman

Recruiter Insights: What Candidates Want


There are many reasons a candidate may decide to leave their current employer, and in the past, the biggest motivator was money. However, monetary compensation is not the main reason candidates are making the leap anymore and it’s also, not a complete reason they will stay with an organization.  

In my discussions with active candidates on the market the top reasons they decide to leave are culture, social impact, and modernized technology. I’ll take you through each of these points from the recent conversations I’ve had with top software engineer talent in New York.

Employees want to be in a diverse and inclusive environment, something the tech industry is embracing. Moving away from any negative stereotypes they may have held in the past, over the last few years, tech has been getting a major face lift and they are reaping the benefits as a result. For one, the companies that are putting technology first are advancing against their competition at an alarming rate. Secondly, there has been an incredible push to bring more women and a diverse set of employees into the industry. Those employers that are making this a priority are seeing an increase in productivity, new ideas, and a better environment overall. The push for more diversity is a concern which potential candidates want to know their prospective employer is working to address—after all, we spend over half our waking hours with our colleagues.

Employees also want to know they are making a positive impact with the work they are completing each day. They want to know, “How is this affecting my community?”, “How am I contributing to a change for the better?” and “Does this align with my own moral compass?”. Companies that set out with a clear mission and stand behind those goals will do well in attracting great talent. The world is becoming more socially conscious and candidates want to see this in their work as well.

Of the top reasons to leave though, the most common is that candidates are bored and looking to increase their technical skills. They want to work on the latest and greatest technology to keep up with the competition, as it is moving at an increasingly faster rate day after day; this is increasingly apparent as the top talent is siphoned to the companies with the most modern tech. Modern tech shows candidates that the company’s environment is an adaptive one and the management is invested in growth, which in turn means innovation and the ability to advance within the company. 

At the end of the day, it’s great that companies are embracing the importance of benefits and excellent compensation, but to truly attract and keep the best talent, companies will need to up their game in these areas if they want to beat their competition.