Job seekers say they’re focused on pay, job security

Job seekers in the U.S. are prioritizing pay, job security and engagement as they face longer job hunts, according to a June 18 report from Aerotek.

In a spring 2024 survey of more than 1,400 job seekers, pay topped a list of eight motivators in the job search, followed by employment security, opportunities to learn new skills and potential for career advancement.

About 41% of job seekers said pay was the most important motivator when deciding to accept a new job, climbing up from 37% in spring 2023.

Job security increased as a priority to nearly 20% of job seekers in spring 2024, continuing an upward trend from 14% in spring 2023.

Engagement is also a priority. About 73% said engaging with co-workers improves their feelings about a job, and about 69% said they’re more likely to stay at a job that promotes social connections.

“Based on these insights, fostering a supportive and collaborative work environment can help managers boost employee retention and increase overall job satisfaction,” Aerotek reported in a statement.

Other recent reports have noted similar trends. In a WTW survey during the first quarter of 2024, 72% of employees said they plan to stick with their current employer, compared about half of employees who said they were looking to leave in 2022. Employees’ top reasons for staying included pay, job security, health benefits and flexible work arrangements.

LinkedIn data also showed that employees are staying at their jobs for now, marking a 26% year-over-year decline in attrition rates from April 2023. Employers can use this time to strengthen retention and build talent pipelines in case the trend reverses, LinkedIn leaders said.

These factors may play into easier recruitment and retention so far in 2024, according to a report from The Conference Board. Flexible work arrangements were linked with better job satisfaction, while on-site mandates seemed to drive some employees away.