Paycheck scaled

We asked Twitter users three questions about jobs and employers. Here’s what they said.

What Virginians believe to be the most important thing they look for in a job could be summarized in one word: wages. 

Over a three-day period, FastForward pushed out three polls into the Twitter-sphere, targeting Virginians 25 and older who have indicated a previous interest in topics surrounding jobs, work and careers. Here’s what we uncovered. 

What employees look for in a job 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current average salary in Virginia is $60,160, but when you dig deeper into specific industries and factor out management positions, the mean salaries drop. The average salary for production occupations is $41,270, installation and repair is $53,610 and healthcare support occupations is $30,330. 

When you start to compare these salary numbers to the survival budgets of the United Way’s ALICE project (about $6,500 a month for a family of four), you’ll start to see why “wages” is the running theme to this post. 

We asked Virginians the most important thing they look for in a job, and an overwhelming majority (64.8%) said salary/wages. The other two options – schedule and benefits like 401(k) and PTO – came in at 17% and 18.2%, respectively. Another user chimed in and said work/life balance was an additional key factor. 

The biggest hurdle to finding work 

Our polling found that the biggest hurdle to finding work is finding a job that provides the right salary/wages. Almost 67% of respondents said jobs don’t offer enough salary.  

FastForward and Virginia’s community colleges help with the second biggest hurdle (lack of training and skills, 24.1%). And coming in third place, only 9% of respondents indicated that no one was hiring locally, but as we’ve seen with the steady decrease in unemployment numbers, open positions aren’t the problem – it’s the paycheck that comes with it. 

What employers can do to support its employees 

When we asked Virginians what employers could do to be more supportive of its employees, the responses were a little more balanced. While only 9% indicated offering more training opportunities, 40.2% wished employers were more flexible while 50.9% said simply listening would be the best thing they could do. 

You can never make everyone happy all the time, but by opening lines of communication and taking a moment to  listen could make the difference with employee satisfaction (and maybe even retention). 

If you’re interested in learning more about FastForward training and how your local community college can build a bridge to your organization, visit our Information for Employers page to learn more.