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Revealed Preferences & Recruitment

The economic concept of revealed preference was developed by economist Paul Samuelson to understand behaviour. Put simply, the theory suggests that people’s actions provide a clearer indication of their true preferences than their stated choices. LinkedIn’s most recent member survey gathered data from thousands of members, asking them about job priorities and company perceptions. Let’s see where the stated preferences and actual job choices do – and don’t – line up.

Top Priorities

Compensation, Work-Life Balance, Flexibility

  • These three facets of career choice have consistently been the top concerns since 2022 and are essential factors for a wide range of candidates.

Other Significant Priorities

Job Security, Career Advancement, Impactful Work, Skill Development

  • While slightly lower on the list, these are crucial for many candidates. They reflect a desire for stability, growth, meaningful contributions, and continuous learning.

Alignment of Priorities with Job Choices


  • Candidates prioritizing flexibility are 13% more likely to work at companies known for offering flexible work arrangements. This indicates that flexible work options can be a decisive factor in job choice.

Highly Talented Employees

  • Although only 11% list this as a top priority, those who do are over 20% more likely to work at companies with highly talented employees. This highlights the strong pull of working alongside top talent for those who value it.

Innovative Projects

  • Members who prioritize innovation are over 20% more likely to work for companies leading in innovation, emphasizing the importance of cutting-edge work environments for innovation-minded candidates.

Career Advancement

  • Gen Z candidates in particular who are prioritizing advancement are 17% more likely to work at companies offering clear paths for career growth. This shows the critical role of advancement opportunities for younger workers.

Challenging Work

  • Baby Boomers valuing challenging work are 13% more likely to join companies known for providing challenging tasks, suggesting that older candidates seek roles that offer significant challenges and engagement.


  • Candidates who place diversity as a top priority are nearly 10% more likely to work at inclusive companies, indicating the strong influence of a company’s inclusivity for diversity-minded candidates.

Interesting Insights


  • Despite being the most common priority (61%), candidates prioritizing it are only 6% more likely to work at top-paying companies, suggesting that high compensation is often accompanied by other appealing factors.

Helpful Managers

  • Candidates prioritizing helpful managers are 7% less likely to work at companies known for good management. This could reflect the challenge of accurately assessing management quality during the interviewing and hiring process.

Clear Leadership, Job Security, Inspired Employees

  • These factors have a weak or negative correlation with actual job choices, perhaps because it’s difficult for candidates to evaluate these aspects from an external perspective.

These last three considerations are excellent reasons to partner with an executive search firm. Good recruiters will learn about your organization and pass on insights about company culture and management style to prospective candidates, increasing the chances of a good match.

Candidates’ job choices provide deeper insights into their true priorities. By aligning branding strategies with these revealed preferences, companies can more effectively attract and retain the right talent. If you’re looking to level up your hiring with industry knowledge and market insights, get in touch with us! Email Paul, Brent, Troy, or Tara, or give us a call at 519-673-3463 or 416-847-0036.

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