What Do Potential Hires Prefer: Higher Salaries or Flexible Schedules?


When a company prepares to offer a job to a potential hire, many different attributes compose the employment package offered. This employment package is meant to entice a candidate to accept the job, and it should include the benefits that a company can reasonably offer and that a potential employee would find integral to their career and life. Among the things a job applicant will look for within an employment offer are job and company stability, alignment of the offered position with their career interests, the company and office culture, and, of course, salary and benefits.

Salary is often thought to be the most important component of a job offer, but the reality is more complicated. While an applicant will look for a dollar amount that is commensurate with the industry and their experience and expertise, they’ll also be looking for a broad range of benefits to cover the needs of themselves and their family as well as opportunities to promote work/life balance. In the modern workplace, this has led to an increasing number of organizations offering flexible scheduling and work arrangements.

While the amount of money that goes into their bank account each payday is vitally important to job candidates, many are willing to accept a reasonably lower salary in exchange for the ability to work more flexibly. This may include working from home, working better hours or arranging work schedules to suit outside interests such as family, school or community involvement.

What this means to a company hiring to fill vacancies is that while an attractive salary will net suitable candidates, a balanced package that includes flexibility can enable the engagement of employees who might otherwise look elsewhere. Many job-seekers currently looking for new opportunities prefer the opportunity to align their work and personal interests over simply earning the highest salary. When bundled with additional benefits and when in alignment with the candidate’s expectations of work culture and future stability, a company can pull in better employees who will be engaged in their work and committed to the organization’s overall goals, aims and vision.