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Gallup: Well-Being and Pay Gain Importance Among Job Seekers

  • Gallup poll identifies the top factors employees would consider when weighing whether to take a job with a new employer
  • The opportunity to find a higher-paying job or one with a better work-life balance have gained importance since before the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Other key considerations include finding a role that allows them to do their best work, job security, COVID-19 requirements, and diversity

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Employees are increasingly looking to boost their earnings and improve their well-being when looking for work, according to a recent Gallup poll.

The survey asked 13,085 employees in the United States what factors they would consider when weighing a job offer from a new employer. Gallup says the results can offer employers a better understanding of what employees are looking for and help them improve their recruitment and retention strategies.

The opportunity for a significantly increased income was the most popular reason employees gave for considering other work options, with 64 percent rating this as very important. This was up significantly from 2015, when just 41 percent of respondents said this was a very important concern.

There has been growing competition among employers amid a labor shortage, with companies raising their compensation in an effort to attract and retain talent. Gallup suggests that workers are aware of this trend and feel more confident about seeking a role with higher pay.

Sixty-one percent rated a desire for better work-life balance and personal wellbeing as a very important reason for considering a job elsewhere. This was also up from 2015, when 53 percent rated this quality as very important. Gallup attributed the change to greater burnout and stress brought on by the pandemic as well as the increasing prevalence of options such as remote work and flexible scheduling.

Fifty-eight percent said it was very important that a new role allow them to do their best work, such as finding a job they enjoyed or one that was aligned well with their skills or training. Gallup said people could either be motivated to seek more fulfilling work if they were not satisfied with the fit of their current job or look for a role that fit their strengths and desires even better. The company suggested that job advertisements should give a realistic view of a position’s expectations and responsibilities to ensure that applicants are drawn to the right roles.

Fifty-three percent said it was very important to be assured of job security or stability when considering a position. This has long been an amenity sought by workers, and this share was consistent with that in the 2015 survey.

COVID-19 rules have also become an important consideration, with 43 percent saying they would want to find a company whose COVID-19 vaccination policies align with their own beliefs. The Supreme Court recently struck down an Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule that would have required employers with 100 or more employees to implement vaccine-or-test policies, though businesses can still put their own policies in place. A previous Gallup poll found that 36 percent of employees worked at a business with a vaccine requirement in place.

Forty-two percent placed significant importance on diversity, saying they would like to find a business that was inclusive of all different types of people.

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