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Benefits Beyond Pay: What Job Seekers Really Want

American job hunters can rejoice. The year 2023 may have seen high interest and inflation trends, but it has led to a strong opening for 2024. Indications for this year show that things will take a positive turn for the economy. So, what does that mean for existing job hunters in the country? This article will explore what it could look like for you.

What are the current economic trends for job seekers?

People searching for new jobs in 2024 must keep up with the latest economic trends. To start things off, it’s reported that 69 percent of job hunters feel optimistic about their searches. Although it’s best to be cautiously optimistic, you can rely on these existing trends to motivate you as you look for new opportunities.

Increased number of jobs

According to the January 2024 report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), companies in the USA have increased the number of jobs by 353,000. It’s crucial to note that this is just the increase in number. There’s also a significant amount of existing job openings on the market.

Over 65 percent of industries have added or maintained the number of job openings. This trend leaves many Americans with numerous opportunities.

Diversification of the labor market

Tech jobs are notably the most in-demand work in the country this year. And even if you’re not part of the tech industry, don’t fret. Numerous job postings for different industries offer a high salary and flexibility. These include healthcare, construction, and finance. With this variety, job hunters are more likely to find work that suits them perfectly.

End of major strikes

As many of you know, many labor strikes took place and were fortunately resolved last year. These include the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). After being on strike for weeks and months, they managed to secure new contracts reflecting the benefits they’d been fighting for.

The strike contributed to a significant reduction in unemployment for people from those industries. Now that everyone has returned to work, there are more chances for suppliers and outsourced workers to provide their services to them.

Peak number of remote jobs

A trend that has persisted since the pandemic is the introduction and rise of work-from-home setups. Since its implementation, employers have become accustomed to managing their employees remotely. How does this trend bode for job seekers?

With the unchanging peak level of remote jobs, people can apply for openings beyond their vicinity. Whether from out of state or out of the country, individuals can work from wherever they are.

Low unemployment rate

Based on the BLS report, the unemployment rate has been constant at 3.7 percent, continuing the streak of below 4 percent for two years. With the increased number of job postings, more individuals are getting hired. Additionally, opportunities are still available for job hunters in the country.

Benefits That Job Seekers Look For

Many qualified workers likely have a choice between job offers and the benefits each one provides. With these choices, they can decide which is better for them with their gathered intel. 

So, how can you win over potential employees? And if you’re a job seeker, what should you consider when selecting a job? Here are some benefits most employees seek when finding work:

Prolonged health coverage

Healthcare is a priority for most people, including those in the workforce. Comprehensive healthcare coverage is a benefit that prospective employees often prioritize. After all, medical costs can get relatively high, especially in emergencies.

How comprehensive should this coverage be? Most employees look for coverage that includes hospital stays, dental costs, vision care, prescription drugs, emergency medical travel, and medical supplies, to name a few.

Work-life balance

Another essential factor that most prospective employees consider is a company’s ability to provide work-life balance. It’s crucial for employees to set boundaries between their professional and personal lives. Some even argue that it’s more important than a high salary.

Providing employees with work-life benefits both parties. It increases productivity, as employees are able to manage their time effectively. It also reduces absenteeism since their physical and mental health are accounted for. They are also more likely to be self-motivated when it comes to work.

Increased paid time off

Paid time off is a basic benefit. When a company offers paid time off, it shows its concern for the overall wellness of its employees. Being overworked can lead to burnout and take a toll on one’s health.

Stress is rampant in the workplace, so having paid leave gives employees more time and room to recuperate. As mentioned, a healthy and happy employee tends to exhibit greater productivity than one who is stressed and burnt out. Companies can also invest in their business’s success by giving employees paid time off.

Remote work

Remote work is still a trend in 2024. Since most people have been introduced to this setup, they have found a sweet spot that enables them to maximize their productivity. Aspiring job hunters are searching for companies that offer entirely remote or hybrid work arrangements.

Why is this trend still relevant? Most employees prefer having control over their work hours. They can also enjoy the benefit of saving money from the absence of commute and daily work expenses. From an employer’s perspective, hiring remote workers is also cost-effective. The onboarding process alone is less costly than it is with onsite workers.

Positive work environment

Employees always consider the existing culture of prospective companies. Do they have the ability to motivate their workers? People often gravitate toward companies that can make a genuine connection with them, lowering the chances of quitting.

When a company shows that it genuinely cares about its employees and promotes a sense of community, the workers are likelier to feel like a part of the team and contribute more to the company.

Job security

Job security is a must for people in the workforce. This factor fuels people to search for jobs that can guarantee stability. Job security provides employees with peace of mind, knowing they have a steady flow of income for the foreseeable future.

When a person’s employment status in the company is definite, they are likelier to perform well. They are less distracted or anxious, leading to improved performance and self-motivation. Job security can also help employees see themselves growing with the company.

Career advancement

Seeing progression in their career remains a need and a must for many people. Employees are more inclined to stay when there is a potential for career advancement in a company. They see this opportunity as a means to hone their skills and expand their horizons.

When employers invest in the development of their employees through training, they keep them happy. On top of that, they tap into the potential of these people, leading to the company’s success.


Last but not least on the list is salary. People are becoming financially wiser, with some accumulating funds in an online savings bank or purchasing assets. With this money-savvy nature comes the realization that they are qualified for higher-paying jobs.

Employees want financial security and freedom, hence their confidence in salary negotiations. It’s best to strike a deal with prospective employers that satisfies both parties. After all, as competitive as the market is for job hunters, it’s also the same for companies. So, finding an employer who can pay well and offer the benefits they’re looking for can guarantee satisfaction.

Finding the Sweet Spot for the Job

Whether a prospective employee searching for a job opportunity or an employer looking for new talent, you must consider the existing economic trends and benefits in the workforce. By identifying what you need from your employer or how you can increase potential employee satisfaction, you can find the best match for you.

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