More than four fifths of workers would change their job to work for an employer with a better corporate reputation, new research has found.
The Randstad Award 2016, the world’s largest public opinion survey, found that when it comes to attracting and retaining candidates, how an employer is perceived is key to recruiting the best talent.
Employers who appear attractive, who offer a competitive salary and benefits, a good atmosphere, long-term prospects and flexibility are more likely to have the pick of the top candidates than those who don’t.
Apart from less business disruption from staff turnover, this also impacts on the bottom line. For companies looking to grow, it translates into a 46% lower cost-per-hire than businesses without good branding and 28% lower staff turnover.
Mark Bull, Randstad’s UK and Middle East CEO, said: “Thanks to the Randstad Award we have gained valuable insight into what employees really want, and whilst salary is naturally important, there are a whole host of other things they look at when job hunting.
“Companies who do well are generally the ones who create an attractive proposition for potential employees that they communicate effectively at recruitment stage but who also actually live up to the promises they make once people are hired.”
The Award, now in its fifth year, saw more than 200,000 workers across 25 countries give their views on what they look for and which employer they think is the most attractive.
Top of the list UK workers look for when searching for a job is salary and employee benefits, with 57% putting it in their top five factors to consider. However, its importance has decreased, down 5% on the previous year’s results. This is closely followed by long-term job security at 52% and a pleasant working atmosphere at 51%.
The results also revealed UK workers are highly motivated by a good work/life balance with an increase in the numbers of employees looking for flexibility and good training as part of their working environment.
Mr Bull said: “The importance of strong employer branding cannot be underestimated if businesses hope to attract the right talent.
“It’s not always possible to offer competitive salaries in which case companies should look at what other benefits they can offer that align with the true motivations of their workforce.
The importance of strong employer branding cannot be underestimated if businesses hope to attract the right talent.
“Companies can enhance their current position within their existing structure by improving their working culture, introducing reward programmes or promoting the use of innovative technologies to attract the next generation of workers.”
However, the motivations of workers differ between men and women and younger and older. Women are more inclined to look for good atmosphere, work/life balance and accessibility whilst men favour financial health and career prospects.
Younger workers tend to look for good training, career opportunities and strong management while older employees prefer salary, job security and interesting job content.
The Award survey results further revealed interesting job content is most favoured by workers in legal and purchasing roles while work/life balance is particularly desirable to public service workers, community service and social workers and those in childcare roles – all jobs predominantly undertaken by women, indicating an important deciding factor for female employees. Salary is most valued by employees in finance, accounting and insurance.
However, what workers want and what companies score best on differs, according to the results. Workers cited salary, long-term job security and pleasant working atmosphere as the top three things. But employers scored best on financial health, strong management and training, indicating a disparity between what companies offer and what employees really see as benefits.
Mr Bull said: “This data shows companies are not always managing to satisfy job seekers’ demands, which can be detrimental to their recruitment process.
“Companies receive better rates for factors which are less of a motivation to potential employees yet by really understanding what candidates or employees want they can tailor their job searches more effectively to reinforce the priorities of the talent they are seeking.
“Companies also need to go one stage further as well and really look at what things like flexibility mean to different target audiences. Flexibility for older employees may be perceived very differently from flexibility for graduates.”
The Award also found that how different sectors are perceived and companies within those sectors are viewed has an effect of their ability to hire the top staff regardless of whether they offer great benefits.
Companies with high name awareness and high attractiveness are considered the dominant players, enjoying the pick of the talent pool. Conversely, companies with low name awareness and low attractiveness have a limited choice among less qualified and motivated employees.