While the evolving power dynamics of the employer and employee relationship may seem daunting given widespread talent shortages and the daily pressure of ‘keeping calm and carrying on’, it also marks an incredible opportunity for switched-on businesses to step up and reap the rewards.

As we’ve seen with G8 Education, Australia’s top employer brand for 2022, by becoming more aware of what their people and teams’ expectations were and coming up with clear and creative ways to deliver against these (within reason), G8 was able to strengthen its employee brand in many areas.

Employees were more committed and productive, while the brand’s external reputation improved dramatically as a positive and rewarding place to work.

Our latest Randstad Employer Brand Research has uncovered a growing expectation on employers to be able to offer both work-life balance and financial security, perhaps a reflection of the disruption employees have experienced during the last few years and subsequent shifting personal priorities and expectations.

The research also revealed that employees are not hesitant to seek new roles if they feel there is a disconnect with their current employer.

In fact, at the start of this year, one in four (28%) indicated they intended to change employers within six months, higher than a year ago (24%).

  • So, what matters to employees when deciding where to work in today's competitive job market?
  • What are the most important drivers that not only attract candidates when choosing where to work but also keep them loyal and committed to the organisation's continued success?
Woman talking to a man while holding a cup of coffee
Woman talking to a man while holding a cup of coffee

the importance of both security and flexibility

When we asked what people consider most important or attractive when choosing an employer, 62% put work-life balance at the top of the list.

This was followed by:

  • attractive salaries and benefits (58%)
  • job security (56%)
  • good training (53%)
  • pleasant work atmosphere (51%)

Understanding this is hugely important for companies wanting to attract the best talent but equally important for retaining valuable employees and avoiding being caught short. The 'great resignation' trend continues to make its presence felt.

Interestingly, our research found that employees are more likely to stay with their current employer if there are more outstanding training and development opportunities.

significantly, two-thirds (66%) are likely to stay if they can reskill or upskill in their current job.

Angela Anasis, Executive General Manager - Talent Solutions and Randstad Sourceright at Randstad Australia, commented on the shift in employee priorities, noting that employers are now tasked with offering more excellent work-life balance if they wish to build solid teams and internal culture successfully.

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The annual Randstad Employer Brand Research provides an insightful barometer for employee sentiment. These findings are precious for employers and candidates in a year when we've seen demand and talent trends turned upside down.

This year's results demonstrate how important it is for employers to look at the broader offering beyond salary. While remuneration is vital in a competitive job market and inflationary economy, Australian workers have reset their priorities following the pandemic and striking a balance between their work and personal lives is no longer a nice to have. It's essential.

Angela Anasis
Executive General Manager - Talent Solutions and Randstad Sourceright at Randstad Australia

what does it mean to deliver on work-life balance?

While factors such as financial stability, career progression and job security are all crucial considerations, work-life balance is above and beyond the top driver of attractiveness for both blue-collar and white-collar workers (58% vs 62%, respectively).

A group of colleagues
A group of colleagues

digging a little deeper, our research found that over the past 12 months, the most popular actions taken by one in four employees are:

  • working flexible hours (25%)
  • increasing remote working (24%)
  • working fewer overtime hours (19%)
  • changing jobs (13%)

however, when asked what changes they want from their current employers to help them achieve and maintain a healthy work-life balance, employees named five key areas:

  • flexible work arrangements (44%)
  • training and development (36%)
  • wellness and mental health resources (35%)
  • salary protection/fair compensation (31%)
  • offering career development (29%) 

We're seeing that there remains a gap that needs closing between what employers are offering and what employees want.

We've also discovered that while work-life balance became a dominant conversation in 2020 and 2021, one in three employees is still not satisfied with their work-life balance. 

Woman standing on a yellow ladder in an office, sticking a post it on a whiteboard. Group of colleagues around her. Smiling
Woman standing on a yellow ladder in an office, sticking a post it on a whiteboard. Group of colleagues around her. Smiling

being an advocate for change

Giving employees flexibility and allowing a hybrid working environment, all while still providing support and creating opportunities for relationships and communication, sets a great organisation apart from an excellent one and will help drive talent attraction, loyalty and retention.

Now is the time for organisations to put the time and resources required into their employer branding and get critical messages out into the competitive job market.


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