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Another key finding: Job seekers don't place as much value on such increasingly popular programs as corporate citizenship and diversity as they do on traditional benefits such as robust rewards programs and personal growth opportunities.
The purpose of the survey, which queried more than 4,100 job-seekers in 21 countries in North and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region, was to identify the most-valued career goals of both entry-level and experienced job seekers.
The findings indicate that challenging and interesting work is the most important characteristic that job seekers look for in prospective employers, selected by 60 percent of all respondents. The potential for recognition and reward for their accomplishments was a close second selected by 58 percent of respondents.
Rounding out the top five characteristics of greatest interest to job-seekers were: opportunities for fast career growth (44 percent); indications that the employer is well-established and is likely to have long-term prosperity (42 percent); and indications that a company has a particular focus on its people (42 percent).
"Interestingly, we found that what is considered important to potential recruits was remarkably consistent across geographies," said John Campagnino, Accenture's global director of recruitment. "Also notable was the fact that while we know from our own employees that corporate social responsibility and diversity are important employer characteristics - things our employees demand and place high value in - the research also validated what many of us intuitively know: namely, that more tangible benefits such as rewards and recognition are most important from an external recruit's perspective."
Key survey findings: Employer Characteristic % of Respondents Selecting Priorities of Job Seekers Employer Characteristic Priority 1. Challenging and interesting work 60% 2. Recognizes and rewards accomplishments 58% 3. Provides an opportunity for fast career growth and advancement 44% 4. Financially strong/will prosper in the long run 42% 5. People-oriented 42% 6. Offers flexible work arrangements 41% 7. Innovative 33% 8. Approachable 27% 9. Team-oriented environment 27% 10. Global company 26% 11. Offers a variety of work 26% 12. Smart 21% 13. Collaborative environment 17% 14. Committed to the community/corporate citizenship 16% 15. Diverse workforce 16%