Has COVID changed candidate expectations of the workplace?

Letitia Oglesby
August, 2021

We wondered how candidate expectations had changed and how clients working practices have adapted to meet the new ‘working world’. Particularly important in the candidate short world of Insight. What can clients be doing to attract the best talent? Below we’ve picked some of the key findings.
Flexible Hours

74% of all the candidates that answered wanted to work more flexible hours.

Flexible hours is more important to those with between 4-11 years’ experience, 83% want to work flexible hours. Those with less experience and more experience aren’t worried about flexible hours. *67% for those with 0-4 years’ experience and 69% for those with 12+ years’ experience.

24% reported that they don’t have the option of working flexible hours currently – do we expect this to change as companies try to appeal more to candidates?

Working from Home

100% of the respondents want to work from home at least 1 day a week!

There is a distinct difference between levels of experience:

Only 8% of those with up to 4 years’ experience want to work fully remotely, where as 31% of those with 12+ years’ experience want to work fully remotely.

Employers are adjusting to these expectations well. 48% said their employers will let them work fully remotely at the moment, with 0% saying their employers expected them to be in full time. We are expecting this to change as we head into Autumn.

Recruitment Interviews

The days of back lit black heads on a zoom screen seem to be behind us, we are getting used to zoom recruitment interviews.

51% said they would rather do a recruitment interview virtually, 49% said they would rather do it in person!

Mental Health

50% have had support with mental health.  Amongst the things being offered are:

  • Daily check ins
  • Online training and resources
  • Virtual team social wellbeing sessions
  • Monthly digital office event with speakers related to various wellness topics


Only 10% of clients have changed their benefits structure as a result of COVID. The changes that have been are related to mental health ‘access to mental first aiders’ or are to facilitate home working ‘on-line training’, office equipment for home.


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