What your (potential) employees really want!

Reading time: 5 min

This is how you manage to retain employees and attract new colleagues.

Of course, like thousands before me, I could start analyzing the reasons for the HR crisis: how much our working world has changed, how the Corona pandemic is responsible for it, and how Gens Z & Alpha contribute to it. But since I’m not telling you anything new with this, I’ll get straight to the question that’s really on our minds right now: How do we manage to retain existing employees and even attract new colleagues?

Good news and bad news.

First, the good news: not everyone wants to change jobs. According to a recent study, almost 45% of all employees aged 45-54 are not actively looking for a job. Unfortunately, the bad news is the same (source: Indeed Hiring Lab). Because on the one hand, you can be happy about the fact that almost half of your existing employees would not leave your company of their own accord. On the other hand, it’s just as hard for you as an employer* to attract new colleagues in the age group and with the experience that often comes with it. So what can you do?

Recruiting with a difference – AI makes it possible.

One way is to break new ground and say goodbye to classic recruiting campaigns, which mostly just want to stand out from the rest. After all, just because someone shouts louder doesn’t make them relevant. But how do you know what really interests your (potential) employees? What values are important to them, what hobbies they are interested in and what is an absolute no-go? Of course, you can commission expensive and extensive market research – or you can take a new approach: analyze the lifeworld of your (potential) employees by letting us digitally map it using AI technology. This is not only much faster, but also much cheaper. And it’s a perfect basis for designing your recruiting in such a way that it’s no longer just a question of taste.

What is important to applicants is also important to existing employees.

When analyzing what is important to applicants and employees, one factor stands out: While 84% of employees in Germany state that it is important to them to find a company that is committed to their well-being, 86% of employees plan to stay at their current job in the next 12 months if they feel good (source: Forrester commissioned by INDEED, July 2023). Accordingly, the well-being factor is your ticket-to-heaven when it comes to your positioning as an employer. Accordingly, it is also the answer to the question of how you make (potential) employees choose you as an employer. Offer vs. perception – hygiene factor vs. motivator
But what is behind well-being as a motivator? Classic topics such as salary and a flexible working environment, such as the possibility of a home office, are no longer real motivators in today’s working world – they are only hygiene factors. These are basics that are increasingly becoming a prerequisite, but are not decisive in the decision for a particular employer. According to Herzberg’s two-factor theory, the issue of well-being, on the other hand, represents a motivator that goes beyond the basic needs of (potential) employees – and has a higher relevance for them. This primarily refers to the following four main criteria: meaning, fulfillment, positive stress and satisfaction.

Well-being can be measured!

It is therefore of no use to you to change your communication alone. It is important to keep an active eye on the well-being of your employees and to promote it with appropriate measures – in this way you increase productivity and create a working atmosphere that is also attractive to the outside world. After all, well-being can be measured! But how?

There are various approaches to finding out what contributes to greater well-being in your company. For example, you could simply ask your employees. It is easier to get external help. For example, you could hold a workshop to find out whether you are serving the right drivers for greater well-being. Does everyone in your company really feel like they belong – or can you create more satisfaction and corporate resilience by promoting diversity? What role does appreciation play in your company, and how is it expressed? An important factor, because appreciation is not a one-way street – if employees feel appreciated, they will also behave more appreciatively and loyally toward you. How do you deal with stress, and are there ways to turn negative stress into positive stress and thus increase motivation?


However your employees define or interpret well-being, make it a priority and measure it. Only then will you also attract new employees and increase your company’s productivity to boot.

Vanessa Salomon
Vanessa Salomon

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