Last year was a shock for all industries, regardless of how they dealt with the COVID-19 aftermaths. Even though the unemployment levels are lower, they’re still far from pre-pandemic times. For instance, the rate of unemployment in the U.S. was 6.2 percent in February.

But unemployment wasn’t the only challenge: companies went through hiring freezes and lay-offs, disrupting their hiring processes. Yet, there is a flash of hope in 2022. HR departments are hoping to revive or improve their talent acquisition strategies and attract high-quality job applicants.

To do so, they have to address their needs and provide a stellar candidate experience. It is why some of the main questions for HR professionals are what it is that job seekers want and what matters to them in the post-pandemic era. That can help you understand your job applicants and use it as a guide in developing a smooth talent attraction strategy.

We researched it for you and discovered what motivates your candidates in 2022.


Uncertainty has been a perpetual feeling in the life of every human being for the last 12 months. Besides worrying about falling ill or seeing loved ones sick, people had to live with a fear of losing their jobs, savings, income, and even home. Most elementary needs are unstable, and the last thing one needs is to wonder whether their new work can provide them with security.

Candidates want to work in resilient companies because that means a stable job and income. That, further, means that they will have to worry less about whether they’ll be able to pay mortgages and provide for their families.

Hence, job seekers will likely research the pandemic’s impact on a company, how they manage to stay afloat, and what kinds of conditions they can ensure for employees. As a result, they will choose those employers that have shown adaptability and maintained stable workplaces.


Life during a pandemic is full of surprises, twists, and changes. One never knows what to expect. However, they’ll likely have to re-adjust their lives frequently. The health measures are continuously changing, and it’s unclear whether 2022 will reward us with the end of coronavirus and social distancing.

But one thing is sure: as long as we co-exist with the virus, flexibility will be a must. As a result, job seekers expect their future employers to give them freedom of choice. Moreover, 65 percent of employees want full-time work from home even after the pandemic, while 31 percent wishes for a hybrid environment.

Perhaps the option to telework is not enough to intrigue candidates. Since the pandemic requires all kinds of adjustments, it is more challenging to maintain a life-work balance. It is why 40 percent of people want to have flexible schedules, and another 76 percent see that as one of the reasons to stay with their current employer.


Another element that comes as a natural expectation in times of uncertainty is the need for transparency. People already have a myriad of questions concerning the future. When developing your talent acquisition strategy, clear out the doubts candidates may have from the get-go.

If your job ads leave job seekers with more questions than answers, you could discourage them from applying. Lack of information about pay and benefits, and interview schedule changes, are the principal source of frustration for 50 percent of candidates.

Almost half of the job applicants (46 percent) find lack of job responsibilities information discouraging, and 89 percent expect to see a clear company mission and purpose in a job posting. Hence, if you want to establish a satisfactory candidate experience, be open about the salary, total benefits package, remote work options, hierarchy, and workplace culture.


In pre-COVID times, 33 percent of candidates saw career growth opportunities as a motivational factor when looking for a job. Future statistics will likely result in a much higher number because if a company can’t provide its employees with professional development, that means stagnation.

When workers stay in the same position and skills for a long time, their salary and benefits won’t change drastically. In 2022, companies that foster knowledge, learning, and growth will be in high demand because they care about their employees and their stability.

As an HR professional, consider the most attractive way to present career development opportunities in a job ad because it could result in an influx of qualified candidates. Think about what benefits the employees need, how they can be better in their work, and help them reach their full potential.


Gone are the days when job seekers were just prospective laborers whose satisfaction has no role in the talent acquisition process. A great candidate experience became one of the most significant elements, and the pandemic is making it a priority.

Job applicants will likely be more careful about their future work because the circumstances require stability and security. Hence, put their needs first when developing your recruiting strategy, and clear out all uncertainties and doubts.

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