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Negotiating change: Do jobseekers have the upper hand?

17 Jun 2024

A new survey shows that global workers and jobseekers remain confident about what they bring to the table, even with the evolution of generative AI.

Today’s jobseekers believe themselves to be in a strong and advantageous negotiating position, according to a new survey from IrishJobs parent company the Stepstone Group, in partnership with management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and hiring platform The Network.

The survey, titled How Work Preferences Are Shifting in the Age of GenAI, gathered data from more than 150,000 people, in 188 countries, to gain insight into how people feel about job hunting and continued employment amid the current technological revolution brought about by generative AI. 

The report found that six out of 10 respondents (64pc), are confident they have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating for jobs. This is potentially because 75pc of workers surveyed said they are approached with job offers at least a few times per year, whether they are actively looking for a new role or not.

Discerning jobseekers are making it known that they, much like employers, have options when it comes to accepting a new role and will choose the right job based on their values, particularly in areas such as reskilling, remote working, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliance.

Deal or no deal

The report indicated 68pc of European respondents and nearly 60pc of those from the Caribbean and Latin America stated they would turn down a good job offer if they felt the interview had left a poor impression. 

Another deal-breaker highlighted in the survey included the level of negative impact a company has on society, either through its services, products or actions. In fact, this was top issue for respondents based in North Africa and the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. A lack of mental health or wellbeing support was also cited as a significant deal-breaker for many respondents across the world. 

Despite the popularity of remote and hybrid working among Europeans surveyed, employees from other regions did not value the availability of flexible working models to the same extent. While more than 40pc of European respondents stated they would refuse an otherwise attractive job offer if the employer did not offer remote or hybrid working options, it was not among the top three reasons to reject an offer for jobseekers in countries outside of Europe. 

A generative AI future

In what could be seen as a “testament to resilience”, the report indicated that modern workers have begun to embrace the generative AI revolution. Almost 40pc of respondents regularly use AI tools and 60pc of respondents anticipate needing to reskill significantly to stay on top of advancements – though most of those people said they will need help to understand what skills to build.

In order to attract and retain talent, the report highlights the need for employers to anticipate the impact of technology on their workforce and offer robust reskilling programs to help employees stay competitive. 

“In attracting global talent, a personalised, modern recruitment process is every bit as critical as providing a value-based workplace that supports the wellbeing of employees,” said Sebastian Dettmers, CEO of The Stepstone Group. “These are simply not just ‘nice-to-haves’ anymore.”

Find out how emerging tech trends are transforming tomorrow with our new podcast, Future Human: The Series. Listen now on Spotify, on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Laura Varley
By Laura Varley

Laura Varley is a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic. She has a background in technology PR and journalism and is borderline obsessed with film and television, the theatre, Marvel and Mayo GAA. She is currently trying to learn how to knit.

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