You just interviewed a superb candidate. They tell you they’ve had a few interesting offers, so what will it take to sway them? You could be forgiven for thinking it all boils down to money, and that the most generous pay package will attract the best employee.

When it comes to hiring graduates, the answer might surprise you.

JobLab recently surveyed its five thousand users, asking them what their most important considerations are when choosing a new job. JobLabbers were asked to rank six work-life factors according to what is most important; company culture, progression opportunities, teammates, salary, the work itself, and location.

The results were not what they expected. Candidates were least concerned about salary, placing it lowest on their list of considerations. The survey also discovered that location wasn’t something that factored highly when accepting a job offer, suggesting applicants are willing to travel further for the right opportunities.

What graduates really want from their employers is career progression. A whopping 72% of graduates rated the opportunities to go further in the company as the most important consideration when accepting a job. This was closely followed by compatibility with teammates, in second place.

Surprisingly, the work projects themselves tied in 3rd place with company culture. Graduates are primarily hankering after stability, ongoing learning opportunities and a friendly work environment.

So what does this mean for you? It seems the next generation of workers have shifted their focus away from economic benefits towards career and skills development, which ultimately holds greater long-term value.

What graduates have expressed in this survey is in direct contradiction to the “job-hopping” trend identified in the millennial workforce. Past polls have shown that the majority of millennial workers don’t expect to stay with a company for more than 3 years.

For the graduate workforce, job-hopping is frequently cited as a valid means of developing a career. This is obviously an H.R. nightmare which results in huge financial losses while business owners keep footing the bill for recruitment drives and training costs. It’s down to employers to curb this trend and incentivise staff to stay on.

So how can we avoid that scenario, retain staff and keep HR happy? Yoga Tuesdays and organic fruit are cool perks, but your graduate hire wants substance. Focus on what you can offer employee in terms of learning and progression. Describe this as part of your package at interview.

Graduates have even told us that real development opportunities would be enough to convince them to join you as an intern, further cutting costs while you train them up. Check out this guide on making the most of your intern and learn how starting an internship program could help your business.

More and more SMEs are starting to see the benefits of nurturing graduates within their business. JobLab is a new web app that connects employers to the graduate workforce. In a few simple steps you can search and virtually meet candidates prior to interview, via their video cover letters saving so much admin time.

By Angharad Overton for JobLab, a web app that connects employers to graduate talent