Where Money Doesn't Matter (As Much) to Candidates

June 16, 2015

In our newly released Talent Trends 2015 report, we founds that 49% of talent around the world considers “better compensation” to be the top factor in whether they accept a new job opportunity. This was followed by “better professional development”(33% ) and “better work / life balance" (29%).


Now, money coming in at number one may not be surprising - we live in a society that aspires to extreme wealth. And, less cynically, good compensation packages help professionals start college funds for their children, travel the world, support charities, and live with a sense of security and peace of mind.

However, compensation isn't the top factor everywhere...

Countries where compensation isn’t the number one priority

Though compensation was a top priority in accepting a job offer globally, there were a handful of countries where professionals ranked other factors as more important than compensation. Take a look:


In the United Kingdom, “work/life balance” won out with 43% of respondents ranking it the top factor in choosing a job. Work/life balance can include factors such as solid vacation benefits, a company culture that respects the “no work on the weekends” policy, and bosses that don’t expect email responses to come within 5 minutes of hitting “send.” The ability to “power off” after work hours is priceless.

In Sweden, 45% of respondents selected “opportunities for advancement” to be most important in a prospective new job. Opportunities for advancement within a role or company may pertain to a company’s promotion policy or other ways in which companies invest in employee growth. Interestingly, Swedish retail company H&M recently announced that it’s promoted over 4,500 employees in the U.S. alone, and 35% of corporate employees started as store sales associates. Clearly, H&M embraces the values of the Swedish workforce.

And in Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Russia most professionals voted “professional development” to be the most important factor. Professional development may entail skills training, seminars, networking opportunities, and other opportunities for employees to grow as professionals.


Companies that can’t compete on compensation alone should bear in mind these other factors when pitching employees on the benefits of joining their company. Emphasize “Better professional development” and “better work/life balance” to get candidates focusing on things that matter to them beyond compensation.

And, if you’re recruiting in one of the countries where compensation isn’t a top priority, be sure to highlight the factor that they consider most important for accepting a new job.

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*Image by Mark Doliner

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