Does salary matter to tech candidates?

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Does salary matter to tech candidates?
Darren Topping

Does salary matter to tech candidates?

Our recent What Tech Candidates Want survey allowed us to delve in to the driving force behind candidates in 2024 - but does salary still top the list of priorities?

When it comes to technology roles, salary is something that is constantly talked about as a priority. In a recent survey, 61% of LinkedIn members voted for compensation as their number one priority – but does it actually matter to candidates?

In our recent What Tech Candidates Want survey, we spoke to candidates from all over the UK in all areas of technology about what they think about the current market and their priorities.

In this blog, we’ll explore:

  • What the research tells us about candidate priorities
  •  Is salary crucial to the 2024 candidate?
  • How different genders view salary in the job market

How important is salary to candidates?

It will come as no surprise that salary comes almost top in most categories in our What Tech Candidates Want report. Overall, 25% of candidates would stay in their current role if they received a higher salary, and a further 25% would be put off joining a new organisation if a low salary was advertised. With salary motivating candidates to stay in roles, and preventing them from starting new ones, what else does salary factor in to?

The older candidates get, the more salary seems to influence their priorities, as seen in the 65+ age range with 37% stating their top priority is a higher salary. Salary priorities also differed by gender, and we’ll go more in-depth on that later in the blog.

Whilst salary remains high on the list for candidates, there are other things that influence their decisions.

What else matters to candidates?

Salary remains the top driver for most candidates in 2024 – and for the second year in a row in our What Tech Candidates Want survey – but it isn’t a priority for everyone.

In our survey, 26% of respondents stated that the first thing they look at on a job advert are roles and responsibilities, with salary coming in second at 18%. This highlights that candidates aren’t simply jumping ship for more money, they want to research the role and see if it suits them. Similarly, candidates aged over 55 said that the thing that would deter them from joining a new company would be a negative culture rather than a low salary, with 25-35 year olds stating that a lack of career progression and poor work/life balance would deter them more than a low salary.

What does this mean for candidate priorities? Salary remains a key motivator for candidates in 2024, but it isn’t the most important thing to everyone. Younger candidates value work/life balance more, and over 55s  look for a healthier work environment.

Are there gender differences in priorities?

We found that gender did have an effect on whether a candidate prioritised salary, with 20% of men and 3% of women choosing salary as their main priority. Our survey found that the majority of women are prioritising the opportunity to learn new technology and flexible working over salary, whereas it ranks as a close second priority for men. However, both genders spotlighted opportunities for career advancement as a number one priority – even over salary.

Although it seems that men do appear to be placing more importance on salary than women, that is definitely not the case. 19.53% of women said that a low salary would prevent from applying for a new role, and 22.39% voted that a higher salary would encourage them to stay in their current role.


To read our full What Tech Candidates Want 2024 report and gain valuable insights into what’s making current candidates tick, click here. You can also read our previous whitepapers and reports here.

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