In today's rapidly evolving job market, understanding what drives Australian workers to choose, stay, and thrive at a company is essential. Even more crucial, is understanding and addressing the gap between what employees want and what employers offer. 

Randstad’s 2024 Employer Brand Research provides a window into the minds of job seekers and employees, revealing significant insights into the drivers of employee satisfaction and the disparities that exist within Australian workplaces. By focusing on these key areas, employers can enhance their attractiveness and retain top talent in 2024 and beyond.

an icon of a magnifying glass

find a suitable candidate

submit a vacancy

The Top 10 Employee Priorities 

Randstad’s research highlights 10 priorities for the Australian workforce in 2024:

  1. Work-life Balance
  2. Attractive Salary & Benefits
  3. Job Security
  4. Good Training
  5. Equity
  6. Pleasant Work Atmosphere
  7. Strong Management
  8. Career Progression
  9. Location
  10. Financially Healthy

These drivers underscore the multifaceted expectations of today’s employees, ranging from the essentials of financial compensation to the nuances of workplace environment and management quality. By understanding and prioritising these drivers, employers can more effectively tailor their strategies to meet and exceed the expectations of their current and potential employees. It serves as a critical benchmark for organisations striving to enhance their attractiveness. However, there's often a gap between employee desires and perceptions of what employers currently offer.

an image of a evaluation of current employer vs profile of ideal employer
an image of a evaluation of current employer vs profile of ideal employer

Understanding the Gaps in Top Priorities

While it is beneficial to acknowledge all 10 priorities, it is particularly crucial to address the gaps in the top five, where discrepancies between employee expectations and employer offerings are most pronounced. These gaps not only highlight areas of potential employee dissatisfaction but also offer opportunities for significant improvement in how employers are perceived in the competitive job market. Let’s delve deeper into these gaps and explore strategies to bridge them.

  1. Work-Life Balance: Employees increasingly prioritise work-life balance, but despite its importance, many employees feel that their need for a balanced life is not fully supported by workplace policies or culture.
  2. Attractive Salary & Benefits: There is a notable discrepancy in how employees perceive their compensation, especially against the backdrop of rising living costs.
  3. Job Security: While generally well-perceived, the continuous communication regarding job security can be improved to further solidify trust.
  4. Good Training: Employees value development opportunities to support career growth and skill enhancement, but often feel that the training provided is inadequate or misaligned with their career goals.
  6. Equity: New to the top drivers, equity reflects a crucial aspect of workplace culture that many feel is lacking, particularly in terms of gender pay equality and opportunities for advancement.

Strategies to Close the Gaps

The disparity between what employees desire from their ideal employers and what they perceive is currently offered in the workplace presents both a challenge and an opportunity for organisations. Bridging this gap is essential for enhancing attraction and retention. Here’s a deeper look at strategies to close these gaps:

Enhance Work-Life Balance:

Organisations can close this gap by implementing flexible working arrangements and enforcing policies that prevent burnout. Encourage managers to model work-life balance and support their teams in achieving it. It's also beneficial to regularly solicit employee feedback on these policies to ensure they meet the workforce's changing needs.

Improve Compensation and Benefits:

There is a significant gap in perceptions regarding compensation, with many employees feeling that their benefits and salaries are not competitive, especially amidst rising living costs. To address this, companies should conduct regular salary reviews and adjust compensation packages to ensure they are competitive and reflective of current economic conditions. Transparency about compensation structures and criteria for raises and promotions can also improve perceptions of fairness and equity.

an icon of a phone

request a call back

get in touch

Reinforce Job Security: 

While employers generally meet expectations regarding job security, maintaining this perception is crucial, especially in uncertain economic times. Maintain open lines of communication about the company's financial health and future prospects. This transparency helps reassure employees about their job security.

Expand Training & Development Opportunities: 

Employees value opportunities for growth and professional development, but there is often a perception that these are lacking. Closing this gap involves not only providing training and development programs but also promoting them effectively to ensure employees are aware of and can participate in these opportunities. Customising training programs to align with individual career aspirations and business goals can also increase their value and appeal. Regular feedback can help tailor these programs to be more effective.

Promote Equity in the Workplace: 

The introduction of equity as a top driver underscores its growing importance in the workplace. Although overall performance on equity is generally satisfactory, significant areas still require improvement. Notably, there’s a marked gender disparity in perceptions of equal pay for equal work—70% of men believe their current employer offers this, compared to only 56% of women. This stark difference highlights an urgent need for businesses to address potential pay gaps and ensure fair treatment across all levels. Organisations must ensure that all policies are equitable and inclusive, conduct regular reviews to address any disparities promptly, and maintain transparency in decision-making processes. Listening to and acting on employee concerns about equity is crucial. This should also include efforts to ensure diversity within the workplace and in leadership positions.

Implementing Effective Changes

To successfully close these gaps, organisations must commit to ongoing dialogue with their employees, utilising surveys and feedback mechanisms to gain insights into employee satisfaction, perceptions and areas for improvement. This continuous evaluation helps businesses stay aligned with diverse employee needs and adapt their people strategies, their employer offering, and HR policies accordingly.

By proactively addressing these discrepancies, employers can significantly enhance their attractiveness as a workplace. Not only does this improve recruitment, but it also boosts retention, creating a more engaged and committed workforce and a positive workplace environment. In an era where employees have clear expectations, aligning employer offerings with employee desires is not just beneficial—it's essential.

an icon of a document

for a copy of the randstad employer brand research report, go to:

employer brand research