Aussies place importance on honest employers and competitive salaries. Keeping employees engaged and productive past their intended retirement age is shaping up to be a major challenge for businesses, with the latest Randstad Award employer branding research showing that 57 is the ideal retirement age for most Australians, while only 28% of workers say they are happy to work past the age of 62.

In spite of these intentions, most Australians believe they’ll have to remain in the workforce until they are 63. Combining the ageing population with sector-specific skill shortages, Australian businesses need to work toward finding or creating solutions that will attract, engage and retain mature workers within their workforce. Management must focus more effort toward ensuring they are challenged, motivated and happy to come to work and are aware that they are valued for their contribution to the business.

Clear and constant communication must be maintained between employees of all age groups and their managers to ensure both parties are aware of what is needed to guarantee optimal productivity at work. It is vital for businesses to listen to their employees and offer the relevant support, conditions and benefits to meet those needs.

This could mean offering employees flexible working arrangements to achieve a healthy work/life balance; the opportunity to consult internally; the opportunity to receive or provide mentoring or other learning and developing programs. The main focus is for organisations to offer a variety of benefits to employees of all age groups, as a means of engaging, developing and retaining them over the long term.

Interestingly, Randstad’s research sheds light on some of the workplace incentives which will help ensure the continued engagement and productivity of Australians working past their ideal retirement age. Just under half (44%) of local employees say a more relaxed working schedule would be a key motivator to keep working later in life, while 38% listed adaptable working hours as a key determinant and 33% noted a more friendly working atmosphere could entice them to stay.

Specifically with the case of mature-aged employees, many want more flexibility in regards to working hours and responsibilities – organisations must respond to these needs accordingly and find solutions that meet these needs in order to retain workers.

HR strategies must be made to appeal to both younger and mature workers, ensuring all are motivated to perform to the best of their ability, as well as enforcing collaboration amongst age groups and possessing a shared vision and shared goal to work toward. Organisations who fail to implement this may put themselves at risk of losing top talent to the open market, or more specifically, their main competitors.

And from understanding the criteria which encourage employees to remain in the workforce, organisations also need to understand what attracts potential employees to their business.

The top five most important factors for Australians when choosing an employer are:

  • competitive salary and benefits, according to 61% of more than 9,500 respondents;
  • long-term job security (55%);
  • pleasant working environment (50%);
  • good work-life balance (47%) and
  • interesting job content (41%).

Randstad Award: the top 5 attributes Australians look for in an employer are:

Rank

Top 5 attributes

2014 (%)

  1. Competitive salary & employee benefits - 61
  2. Long-term job security - 55
  3. Pleasant working atmosphere - 50
  4. Good work-life balance - 47
  5. Interesting job content - 41

The Randstad Award employer branding research also highlights the characteristics which Australian workers value most when looking for a new employer. Four in five (80%) listed honesty as the most desirable trait in a potential employer, closely followed by reliability (71%) and security (61%).

As organisations are more often than not competing for the same talent, additional insights a company obtains regarding what potential employees find attractive, the easier it can be to sync recruitment with employer branding strategies. This will enable companies to more successfully appeal and cater to these groups, subsequently giving them a competitive advantage.

Similarly, with people, organisations possess characteristics that form the foundation of their brand, image and reputation. To be as attractive as possible to potential employees, companies must prioritise the importance of promoting these defining qualities through every branch of their marketing, communication, HR and employer branding strategies. 

Randstad Award: the top 5 personality traits Australians look for in an employer are:

Top 5 personality traits in 2014 (%)

  1. Honest - 80
  2. Reliable - 71
  3. Secure - 61
  4. Well respected - 52
  5. Sincere - 49

The search for Australia’s most attractive employer in 2014

The Randstad Award, which will reveal the most attractive commercial and government employers in Australia will be announced at a gala event at Doltone House, Sydney on Thursday, 10th April.

Social commentator and regular on ABC TV’s The Gruen Transfer will MC the event, which will be attended by Randstad’s global CEO & Chairman, Mr Jacques Van Den Broek, as well as senior executives from Australia’s largest 150 companies including Qantas, Westpac, ABC, Coca-Cola Amatil, Nestle, NSW Health, NSW Treasury, PWC, NRMA and Virgin Australia. 

The Randstad Award is totally unique in this market as it’s based on public perception – over 9,500 Australians of working age. Organisations are unable to nominate themselves or determine categories or criteria for entry as it’s based on the largest 150 employers in Australia, by employee size.

First launched in Belgium in 2000, the Randstad Awards will be hosted in 23 countries around the world including, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Spain and the Netherlands capturing the perceptions of 200,000 potential job seekers.