What Australians want from an employer in a post COVID world.

Nick Pesch - August 27, 2020

Right now people are feeling uncertain. About their jobs, the future, the economy. It can be hard to know what to do next, how to make the next right move. At Randstad each year we survey almost 10,000 Australians to get an in-depth picture of the needs and wants of the workforce. That helps the organisations we work with plan for the future. This year we conducted an additional survey that marries our yearly Employer Brand Research with the impact of COVID-19 on employer branding. I am excited to share the findings with you and should you wish you can get a tailored sector or company report from our team please reach out to me. Here is some of what we found. 

Over the past six months, the number of job seekers in our market has increased by 28%. Of those still employed, more than half are looking for new opportunities. With increased levels of job insecurity and a workforce looking at new opportunities, organisations would be right to focus on their employer brand. 

Our 2020 Employer Brand Research reveals the needs and wants of the Australian workforce, and how they have changed since the start of the year. Taken from a survey of over 9,000 Australians, this research can help you shape your organisation’s employer brand in a way that matches the needs of prospective employees and current staff. 

As we enter into a downturn, building a good employer brand is critical to attracting and retaining top talent. Tough times means that holding onto your talent is essential for your business. Listening to what your employees want in the workplace and taking action accordingly to fulfil their needs has never been more important.

From the report, it is evident that the number one priority for an employee's productivity (whether seeking new work or not) is a company that provides a healthy work-life balance. 

Compared to six months ago, this has remained priority number one, now strengthened by people craving a work environment that allows them to hold full control of their work during these uncertain times. Employees want to know that their well-being is valued. Not surprisingly, alongside this desire for work-life balance, 76% of Australians want an employer who puts their health and safety first. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians are seeking flexibility to manage the situation and safety from the virus. 

Interestingly, company culture is now the number two priority for employees, which had not appeared in the top-three at the start of the year. Strong company culture has become more important than salary or benefits as employees are more concerned about company transparency and honesty. The future challenges of building a company culture with employees that are working at home will be acute. This is new territory for many so insights into what Australians are seeking from an employer are highly valuable. 

The increasing importance of company culture has pushed job security down the list. More movement in the employment market means employees are not necessarily worried about staying with a company long-term. Therefore, businesses must make more effort to promote their culture, rather than just offering a job.

Our Employer Brand Research also exposed a gap between what job seekers are looking for and what they believe potential employers have to offer. The top three perceived priorities of employers were financial health, the latest technologies, and job security; nothing related to culture or well-being. 

A lack of alignment between priorities and perceived priorities emphasises the importance of the employer brand and why your business should focus on shifting attitudes. A particular focus should be on demonstrating a commitment to transparency, authenticity, reskilling, and inclusion.

Despite the pandemic, technology and healthcare continue to rank as the top attractive industries to employees. Not only have they been instrumental in protecting people’s health and well-being and providing work transition opportunities, but they also continue to inspire confidence in job seekers.

We offer this research free to all organisations each year. If you would like to know how Australians perceive your organisations or sector, our team of Randstad Recruitment Consultants can help create a tailored report for you that dives into what people find attractive in an employer, zooming in on sectors and the desired 10 key attributes including salary, career progression, and training. 

You can request yours by clicking here