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Dave Cooper, Randstad’s GM of the Construction, Property and Engineering sector, shares his insights from the 2019 Employer Brand Report on the growing importance of meeting employee expectations to attract quality candidates.

With current low unemployment and plenty of infrastructure projects on the go, job seekers in the construction sector are in high demand. For companies seeking top talent, it is crucial to promote a positive employer brand that matches the needs of Australian workers.

In our 2019 Employer Brand Research, we take a look at which organisations are doing well and what is attracting top talent.

the winners

Downer EDI took the top spot as the most attractive company within the sector, closely followed by BGC and Cimic. Australians perceived them as being financially healthy and having opportunities for career progression.

Often, the strongest reason for employees to leave a company is because they did not win a particular project. That’s why it’s important for organisations in the sector to highlight their financial health by winning tier one projects and show a continuous pipeline of work to retain its star performers.

Equally, companies that are prioritising employee branding use social media platforms to communicate how they treat subcontractors, their project wins and career development schemes. These are much better positioned to win the war for talent.


A new trend coming out of the sector is greater transparency between businesses and employees.

Employee turnover occurs for a number of reasons and include when employees feel misled, when expectations are not properly managed and when the financial health of the organisation is questionable.  

Many of these tensions in the employee’s experience can be avoided by ensuring that the employer value proposition is genuine - from the delivery of promises made at an interview to  when the employee joins the organisation. This includes equipping employees with the tools to do the job with a company phone, laptop, a supportive company culture or collaboration with subcontractors.

Companies are striving to structure their culture with transparency within the office, construction sites and externally in their public image. For example, the “Day in the Life of an Employee” videos which companies are platforming on their social media channels are getting the message right.

large versus small company experience

Larger companies hold an advantage with greater resources on hand and can offer unique employee experiences, such as late starts for parents to drop off children, further certifications, as well as interesting and challenging projects. Smaller companies have less leeway to give employees leave when they want it given economic limitations.

If small companies can nail the essential expectations of employees, they can compete with larger firms in attracting talent. Especially using their opportunity for fast career progression and greater responsibilities as well as direct access to management as their employer value propositions.

employee wellbeing

For the fourth year in a row, work life balance is the top employer value proposition according to the 10,000 Australians surveyed in the 2019 Randstad Employer Brand Research. This shows that Aussies really do look for employers that are empathetic to their life situations and this focus makes organisations attractive in brand and talent appeal.  

Work life balance and poorly managed Work Health and Safety are a key driver for construction workers seeking to leave an organisation. Given the majority of construction work is heavy labour and often involve long hours, avoiding the knock on effects of depleted wellbeing and engagement will position construction organisations as real advocates for their employees.

There’s much more detail in 2019 Randstad Employer Brand Research. If you would like to discuss the relative attractiveness of your company, or find out how you can drive more effective employer branding strategies in your organisation, download the report today.

Alternatively, you can request a visit by reaching out to your Randstad Account Manager or emailing us at