Is salary the most important thing for candidates?

Indeed, salary is one of the most important things for candidates when looking for a job. However, employees also consider other factors when choosing an employer to work with. In fact, these factors have taken the lead in the priority list, leaving salary behind.

There are motivating factors external to the merely remunerative, which foster productivity, increase employee retention and involve them in the company’s culture. Simply put, a value proposition must include competitive salaries and other quality aspects employees value.

Let’s discuss why salary is not the most important factor that job seekers are looking for!

Is salary the top factor for candidates? Recent statistics

The first lesson of this study is that some things do not really change: a majority of candidates still choose their company according to its location and salary. These two factors remain the most important criteria for responding to an offer.

However, while pay continues to be one of the leading factors among job seekers, other factors like positive company culture, good team, learning and development opportunities, flexibility, etc., are becoming increasingly important.

Recent statistics offer an accurate view of the factors that drive decisions about the employment of workers, providing employers with keys to shape their employer brand as well as an overview of the perception that potential employees have of them.

According to a recent report, the five most important factors that workers evaluate when choosing a company to work for include:

  • Positive company culture
  • Competitive salary and benefits
  • Long-term job security
  • Opportunities for professional growth
  • Flexibility at work
  • The missions offered


Although salary remains one of the highest priorities when choosing an employer, almost 50% of candidates place the need for a good working atmosphere in the top five positions and good opportunities for growth and training. And more than a third of employees value flexible working hours and the content of their work.

What can employers do to win over the best job candidates?

In a context where young Millennials are beginning to fill jobs, a good career plan, personalised support, and constant feedback between the employee and the boss are elements to consider.

On the other hand, men and women of generation X weigh in the scales the balance between their life and work since spending time with their families is increasingly important as employees get older.

In addition, we cannot ignore the importance of the values and a good image: the employer brand. Another recent survey by Qualtrics indicates that more than half of the candidates want to work with firms that share their values. In fact, 56% of the participants stated that they wouldn’t even consider a job with values they disagree with.

A Momentive survey by CNBC showed that almost 40% of the employees would likely leave their job if the company’s political stand did not match their values.

The good image of a company is also essential in the choice of the company: 1 in 2 respondents apply if they have a good image, an image that they analyse by learning about the company via social networks but also via employees.

Plus, if a company’s values are the second criterion of choice for candidates after location, they are also sensitive to good economic health (45%) and good HR reputation (39%).

The online reputation of an employer brand can then take on more importance than the other criteria for future candidates. The majority of the candidate would even be inclined to apply for an offer far from their activity when a company is attractive to them. Therefore, working on communication and employer brand is more important than ever for companies to attract the right candidates.


By considering the diversity of factors that influence a candidate’s choice of an employer, the wishes of current and potential employees can be better interpreted and questioned. If these desires are considered, attraction, productivity, and retention will be easier.

The Quanterra Group is an agency based in Dubai that has been helping companies and candidates across the region to find their perfect match. More than a recruitment agency, we provide experience and research-based top-notch training, talent, and mentoring services to recruiters and job seekers in the real estate, property, and construction sectors based in the Middle East.

If you’re a candidate wishing to embark on the real estate, property, or construction sector or a firm looking for the best talent in the Middle East, get in touch with the Quanterra team today!

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