Source: Wesley Tingey via Unsplash
Agencies go to great lengths to sway talent and upstage competitors with lavish workplace perks, but what really matters to workers?
As long as talent is in high demand, workers don’t have to settle for junk pay, unsociable work hours, and a lack of career growth. Agencies risk losing employees willing to make better offers.
LinkedIn Chief Economist Karin Kimbrough said: “Companies need to recognize that the power dynamics have changed – workers are going to demand more of them on many fronts.
“Applicants are much more selective about where they work and workers are more vocal about what they want.”
Although more than a third (35%) of employers are improving their benefits this year and experimenting with industry-first initiatives – from four-day work weeks to NFT compensation and allowing staff to choose their own holiday dates .
Recruiters overwhelmingly claim that flexibility is the number one driver for workers when choosing their next position.
james macdonalddirector, NewyTechPeople // RemoteTechPeople, said AdNews“In the recent talent shortage, flexibility is no longer an advantage, it is now a necessity.
“A business offering flexibility by starting an hour earlier and ending early is no longer considered flexibility.
“If your company doesn’t offer true flexibility, you’ll struggle to attract top talent – true flexibility means the employee has a say in in-office or remote days, start times, and flexibility in the day to exercise / pick up the kids / run errands / ect.
“The pandemic has shown that most roles in technology and the digital space can be done remotely, at least some of the time. If some form of remote control isn’t offered, it’s a no-start for most digital professionals.”
These claims are backed up by LinkedIn’s Workforce Trust Survey. More than half of respondents (55%) ranked the four-day working week as the best option and flexible working arrangements emerged as a priority among workers overall, with 63% ranking it among their first three.
Other options were significantly less popular, with just 16% valuing free mental health benefits or the option of taking a paid sabbatical, and just 7% prioritizing help with childcare. children.
SEEK’s research also showed that work-life balance was the top priority for many Australian workers, with working hours or flex time ranking second, ahead of salary and compensation.
Melanie GillamSenior Consultant, NewyTechPeople & RemoteTechPeople said AdNews“Flexibility is still the key driver for most candidates we speak with, but as people adjust to post-lockdown work life, the most coveted part of flexibility is autonomy.
“Some people prefer to work remotely, others tend to be hybrid and on the other scale people want to be in the office.
“There is a huge desire to make the workplace more attractive and the key to this is flexibility and taking individual preferences into account.
“Giving employees the autonomy to decide how, where and when they work engenders a sense of confidence and autonomy.
“Candidates come to us with a clear understanding of their definition of work/life balance. Savvy employers understand that meeting these expectations can be good business.
Does money speak to everyone?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to workplace benefits, as value is based on the individual evaluating an offer, but money has always been a priority, right?
James MacDonald of NewyTechPeople // RemoteTechPeople, said, “No matter how good the benefits are, people will shop around and be much more aware of what the general market is paying for.
“Companies won’t be able to attract top talent by paying significantly below market rate or trying to undermine someone at the offer stage.
“In our experience, the best way to build successful teams is to pay market rate or slightly above and work with the individual on the benefits and flexibility that are important to them.
“It’s also important to make sure you have a healthy company culture and clear career paths.
“Competing on salary alone is a very expensive and dangerous way to build teams – if people are there just because you pay the most, what happens when they’re tapped on the shoulder with an offer higher ?”
Sue Parkercareer marketing and job search strategist at DARE Group Australia said AdNews“My personal recommendation is that every job posting lists the salary because candidates are tired of the lack of transparency.
“Also, pay what the role is worth and what the responsibilities demand – this will help build trust and align candidate expressions of interest.”
Jade Leecompany culture and engagement specialist, said AdNews“Wages are going up but that’s not the reason why people are going to leave a company.
“Instead, candidates are looking for a better culture, more interesting work and to feel valued. A sense of belonging and a strong company culture are highly sought after.”
Social and environmental responsibility is a growing demand
In a world hyper-alert to the pandemic, world wars and social injustices, the way candidates review their careers and employers have evolved holistically.
With 75% of existing and potential employees preferring to work for companies that have a strong social conscience.
James MacDonald of NewyTechPeople // RemoteTechPeople, said: “The growing trend we’re seeing is of professionals looking for companies that have strong corporate social responsibility or an opportunity to work with companies that are doing well by the environment or causes important to the individual.
“Companies that have a strong social awareness aspect should lean heavily into it when attracting talent.”
Sue Parker of DARE said: “The social responsibility part of the ESG (environment, social and governance) equation has taken center stage, and climate change often sits beside the assessment process.
“Candidates not only assess roles and career paths, but also the values and missions of board members and leaders.
“It’s the personal brand values that leaders embrace and adhere to that have a significant impact on choosing a new employer for many candidates and they want to see leaders engaging on social media.”
What advice do the experts have for agencies?
Ryan WattsMarketing Talent Agent @ Aquent Australia: “It’s not all bleak, there are ways to make your business stand out while finding amazing talent:
“Offer a competitive package – it can be a solid base salary + great + bonuses + perks. In the end it can be whatever it takes, just make your offer irresistible and candidates will come knocking on the door.
“Be transparent about salary – if you wait until the offer stage to discuss salary, you’re going to have a terrible time. Discuss salary upfront so you and the candidate are on the same length of wave right from the start. I can’t stress this enough.
“Offer flexible working – 2% of professionals want to be in the office full time. If you don’t offer flexible working, don’t expect to attract talent.
“Make it a quick recruitment process – 2-3 interviews max!” Don’t drag out the process for several weeks. Be thorough, but be decisive.
“Bring your A-game to interviews – talent also interviews you, so if you don’t make the candidate feel welcome or excited about the role, they won’t want to work for you.”
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