PwC survey: Half of job seekers are willing to trade a part of their salary for flexibility and a third would do so for upskilling programmes

23 Dec 2019

Job seekers are willing to trade an average of 11.7% of their salary for flexibility and more than a third of candidates said they’d be willing to take a pay cut for a chance to learn new skills, according to a PwC US survey “The future of recruiting”.

That figure rises to 12.4% among those working in in-demand fields like technology.

“Salary and benefits almost always come first for job seekers. Lately, there’s been a global tendency to give up a part of remuneration for a benefits package, such as opportunities for training and upskilling, inclusion and personal flexibility in when and where they work. Employees’ interest in upskilling programmes has increased recently as a result of the extremely rapid transformations generated by new technologies with a major impact, including on the workforce. Thus, many employees are aware that they must improve their digital skills to remain competitive in the labour market,” said Ionuț Sas, Partner, People & Organisation Leader, PwC România.

An employer’s reputation and recruiting experience are also very important for candidates when accepting a job.

According to the survey, 92% of candidates say they’ve experienced poor recruiting practices at some point in their career, with over 60% being unsatisfied that a recruiting process takes longer than a month or because the recruiters suddenly stopped communicating without any explanation. Nearly half (49%) of job seekers working in in-demand fields like technology, banks or energy say they’ve turned down an offer because of a bad experience during the hiring process, with 56% saying they’d discourage others from applying due to negative recruiting experiences.

 The main conclusion of the report:

  • Slightly over half (51%) would forgo higher salaries for more flexibility.
  • 37% of candidates said they’d be willing to take a pay cut for a chance to develop new skills.
  • The same percentage said they see upskilling opportunities as the most important factor in deciding on a new job, after salary and benefits.
  • 62% of job seekers said they’re more likely to apply for a job where a company is openly committed to improving diversity and inclusion in their workforce.
  • Candidates want positive, direct human interaction throughout the recruiting process and less use of automation technology.
  • However, 44% of candidates said they’re open to using automation and technology options for routine contact, and to get information during the recruiting process, and 65% of candidates said they would like organisations to have an application dashboard so they can see where they are in the process.
  • 78% said they expect the recruiting process to be clear on how personal data is used.


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Ionut Sas, Partner

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