Jobseekers hold the cards


Once upon a time a CV would have contained all the reasons why the employer should appoint that candidate. The content was all about the benefits they brought to the company: the candidate sold themselves.


CVs aren’t like that now.


Candidates are much more likely to tell you what they are looking for, their ambitions, their skills and their future.

In a world where we have lower unemployment than ever (3.1% in Germany in May 2019 and 3.7% in the UK in April 2019), good candidates are not only hard to find, they are hard to please!

Smart employers are wising up to the fact that the balance is changing and employee benefits, are key to not only recruiting quality staff but to retaining them.

So what are candidates looking for now?

In our experience candidates are looking for a more symbiotic relationship with their future employers. They are looking to identify the ‘win-win’ in the relationship and this is a lot to do with the mind set changes caused by the gig-economy and flexible contracting.

What sort of things may you consider adopting as a smart employer?

Flexible Working

Certainly there is a demand for more flexible working. Technology has made this significantly easier whilst bringing its own challenges. Flexible start and finish times work well for young families and carers and at times of illness and stress, an employer can ensure they hold on to the best staff by flexing a little. This benefit helps greatly with staff recruitment and retention.

Promotion Opportunities

Good candidates want to know that it is possible to progress.

‘Dead man’s shoes’ is a soul destroying prospect for a bright, young, ambitious person. Looking at ways your new employee can help you grow the business and their role in it is very empowering.


In our experience most employees genuinely want to know how they are performing. They need feedback and a good appraisal technique can lift and motivate staff whilst also offering them a chance to say what they think. Open and honest appraisals benefit all.


Many of our larger employers may be able to offer location changes to suit candidates – offices overseas or in other cities or towns.


A good pension scheme will always help attract and retain staff


A company with a good reputation for employee welfare and wellbeing will always attract more candidates and their staff retention is also usually higher than average. Companies who keep their staff are attractive to work for. Good employment conditions resonate well with potential candidates when they are viewing the position with a ‘what’s in it for me?’ mind-set.

Employee Development Programme

Companies who invest in their staff have higher retention rates and more satisfied employees. Mentoring and leadership development programmes help you identify new leaders, address succession planning and have employees working effectively to short and long-term strategic goals; they build teams!

Wellness Programmes

This began with concerns for work-life balance as the realisation of how this affects employee performance became evident. The concept has now moved on to encompass wellbeing and mental health first aid. Employers who embrace this concept are seen as more caring, loyalty grows and staff stay because they can overcome short-term problems.

At Horwood Kohler we are seeing more candidates rejecting good job offers simply because the conditions don’t answer that ‘what’s in it for me?’ question sufficiently. Salary is still obviously a major driver but ultimately it won’t keep staff on its own. We are keen to place our candidates in the right environment for them, we want them to grow, be happy, be ambitious, be stretched, and once placed, stay!

Companies are facing a mind-set change but by embracing it they build a loyal, strong workforce working together to create the opportunities for strategic growth.

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