What 250k Candidates in the UK Said That They Want from Their Next Job

Flexibility takes the gold, so start stretching.
What 250k Candidates in the UK Said That They Want from Their Next Job

The last few years in tech have been a real rollercoaster. From the lows of layoffs at the start of COVID to the boomiest tech boom we’ve seen in years, we’re now making our way through a tunnel of uncertainty.

With the current environment, companies have to be smart about their priorities and their focus. And with the countless hiring freezes and layoffs from tech companies, there’s been an influx of jobseekers on the market.

But while it may seem that recruitment would get easier at a time like this, it actually becomes even trickier for fast-growing companies.

The best prospects will continue to be selective about where they want to work, and now more than ever, they’ll prioritise job security even more. So while jobseekers have to work hard to nail down their next role, to attract the best, you will need to work harder too.

With over a million jobseekers looking for tech roles on Otta, we’ve done a little digging and sampled 250,000 candidates in the UK to find out what they value — and how you can give it to them.

 What do UK jobseekers care about the most?

Every jobseeker that joins Otta answers a quick multi-choice quiz on what they’re looking for in a new role. This not only helps us curate a series of jobs that fulfil their wants and needs, but it also gives us a deep understanding of what tech job seekers truly care about.

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By analysing the answers from 250,000 UK tech candidates, the top 3 things that mattered most were:

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Bottom line: In order to stand out to attract great talent, you need to shout out about flexibility, team calibre, and opportunities for growth up front in your hiring process.

So, how can you give them what they want?

What they really, really want? Let's break it down:

1. Flexibility and Wellbeing take the cake

ICYMI: The world has changed. Remote and hybrid work is the expectation now, not a perk. If you don’t have a flexible working policy in place, you’ll alienate a huge chunk of your candidates.

Hybrid is the Expectation
A full 40-hour work week in-office just isn’t popular in tech. Take the lead from the whopping 95% of companies on Otta. They only require three days – or fewer – in the office a week, offering the kind of flexibility candidates crave.


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Fully Remote is the Dream
While 74% of jobseekers are open to working fully remotely, only 53% of companies on Otta have had at least 1 role that could be done fully remotely in the UK this year. There’s an opportunity for companies to meet jobseekers where they are at, offering them an opportunity that allows them to WFAnywhere.

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If you’re looking to showcase your flexible approach to work, here’s a great example from Hook, a revenue growth company, that used Otta to make its early hires:


Read: How Hook uses Otta Pro to source 40% of their team

2. Spotlight your company by celebrating the people behind it

We spend about a third of our life at our 9 to 5s, so where you work and who you work with matters deeply for jobseekers.

But most companies aren’t drawing attention to the people who are already a part of the team. So it’s important to give candidates a real insight into who they might be working with and the environment that they’re creating.

Create a space to spotlight your employees
Whether it’s on your website, social media, or in your job descriptions, don’t simply rhyme off your team’s names, responsibilities and roles — spotlight what makes your company great and who the people behind it are.

Create a space to showcase what your employees are saying
On Otta, we’ve created a space like this where employees can share endorsements — honest feedback about what they enjoy most about working at a company. The result? We’ve seen that companies with 2+ endorsements on their Otta profile receive twice the number of applications per job than those with none.

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3. Set Your Employees Up for Growth and Success

When a new hire joins a company, they come in with the goal of furthering their career. So as an employer, providing that experience and highlighting how you’ve cultivated an environment for growth is incredibly crucial for bringing on and retaining talent.

Showcase real-life examples of employees progressing through the ranks, transforming your business to inspire candidates about your mission. A wellness & personal development budget is a great way of showing candidates you genuinely care about them and their growth.

Multiverse, the UK's first edtech unicorn, has scaled its team using Otta. Here’s an example of how they share their employee’s progress:


Multiverse Team Photos

Read: How Multiverse used Otta Pro to fill roles faster with high-quality, inbound applications

Get on Otta: there’s no time like the present

Last January, over 40,000 new candidates joined Otta, and we saw a serious uplift in engagement across the month. Job ads received around twice the number of views and 1.5x more applications (4x more for companies who boost the visibility of their jobs using Otta Pro) compared to the average month in Q4.

We’re investing heavily to make sure 2023 brings more of the same.

Over 80% of hires on Otta are made through applications, and if you need to hit the ground running in the new year, applications can scale much faster than sourcing.

Set up your inbound hiring process for success today to maximise the January job rush. 


This article was co-created with our friends at Recruiting Brainfood — a manually curated recruiting content delivered to your inbox once a week.