Candidate Pay Confidence Stays High

Candidate confidence is up across the board, from faith in their ability to find job satisfaction or getting the compensation they feel they deserve. With the US unemployment rate holding steady (at 3.6% in June of 2022), the search for talent remains competitive. This tight labor market has boosted candidates’ pay confidence across industries and demographics. But just how high is this confidence, and what does this mean for the employers trying to recruit them?

To find out, we surveyed nearly 2000 candidates for our 2022 Candidate Experience Report. Specifically, we wanted to know how confident candidates felt they would be compensated appropriately in their next job, and if there were any major differences in this sentiment across demographics.

We found that 48% – nearly half – of all candidates strongly agree that they will be paid enough in a new role, and another 31% of them agree at least somewhat. Just a scant 6% of candidates didn’t feel confident that they would be able to get paid fairly (2% strongly disagreeing, and 4% somewhat disagreeing).

Candidates are confident they will be paid appropriately

As far as industries go, the candidates with the most pay confidence were those who were looking for roles in either the Retail (52% “strongly agreeing”) or Transportation & Logistics (59% “strongly agreeing”) industries. With the upheaval caused by the Great Resignation, many jobs in the retail sector remain unfilled as people flocked to higher-paying or remote opportunities. This has opened the door for candidates to negotiate for better compensation, and employers raising wages to try and backfill their headcount. And since supply chain issues continue to cause issues, the demand for workers in Transportation & Logistics continues to increase. And with high demand comes higher pay.

When it comes to demographics, we found some interesting trends. In general, it seems that pay confidence decreases with age. 54% of younger candidates strongly agreed that they were confident they would be paid enough com, compared to only 38% of candidate 55 and older. It could be that many older candidates have reached a bit of a salary cap in their current career path, while younger candidates are able to move into higher-paying fields as experience- and education-related requirements have fallen to the wayside as employers scramble to fill their openings.

While we know that compensation isn’t the only thing that matters to candidates, it’s still among their top priorities to be paid well. If you feel you’re losing your top candidates because of missed salary expectations (which we found to be the top reason today’s candidates abandon a recruitment process), consider increasing pay transparency.

Being upfront and specific about compensation can help you get candidates into your hiring pipeline who are comfortable with the salary you’re able to offer, reducing the likelihood of them jumping ship further down the line. You can achieve this by putting salary information in the job description with only a marginal range.

If you want to learn more about today’s candidate sentiment and their top priorities, download Criteria’s 2022 Candidate Experience Report for yourself.