We know your first thought: short hours and a big pay packet.

Back in reality, we all have our own tastes and preferences when it comes to the kind of place we want to work. But as you’re exploring potential roles for yourself or trying to sell a particular client to a candidate, it can be hard to know where to focus your attention.

To get you started, here are four key areas to consider.


According to flexible workspace firm IWG, 80% of candidates said they would turn down a job that didn’t offer flexible working for one that did. But flexibility isn’t just about letting people chose their hours or work from home.

Often, a great-sounding company will build flexibility into your contract from the outset. However, that flexibility soon disappears once you’re on the inside – suddenly the ‘flexible’ arrangements you agreed to become remarkably rigid.

As a result, it’s important to consider the big picture on flexibility – not just what you can get now, but how you can retain your flexibility long term.


Every business comes with its own culture and set of values, whether they’ve spent the money to define and record them or not. It’s there in the attitudes of the people they employ, as well as the beliefs and personality of the organisation itself.

These are all things that are hard to pin down from the outside looking in and, often, companies put their best foot forward when they’re recruiting. Here, taking an active role in an interview and trying to speak to existing team members can be invaluable.


According to, businesses with a high ‘recognition culture’ have a 30% lower staff turnover. Companies that recognise the achievements of their employees are where people want to go – and stay.

In part, this recognition can come in the form of financial incentives and performance-based rewards. But even something as simple as training leaderboards and gamification can make you feel like your efforts are being seen.


Perhaps most importantly of all, 93% of employees want to work a company that invests in their careers. If you’re anything like us, it’s not what a job can offer right now – it’s what there will be five and ten years into the future.

The challenge for recruiters and candidates alike is that finding a great company to work for is part research, part predicting the future. What seems wonderful today might be irrelevant tomorrow.

That’s why we take training and developing new skills so seriously – it’s one of few ways that companies can encourage progression, bring variety to roles and keep people engaged and happy in the workplace.

Flexibility, a good culture and recognition are all things that employees need to be satisfied. But development, change and growth are more – they’re the things that humans need to thrive.