Work Life Balance Top Priority For Job Seekers

Work Life Balance Top Priority For Job Seekers

Work life balance is the top priority for Australian job seekers in 2015, trumping salary, career progression and job title, in a list of the top nine attributes professionals look for in a new role, according to new research from recruitment specialist Hudson.

Maggie LIU
Posted by Maggie LIU

Hudson’s 2015 The Hiring Report: The State of Hiring in Australia 2015, which surveyed more than 3,000 professionals and hiring managers across Australia, found work life balance, including flexible arrangements, has taken precedence as the top priority for Australian workers (70% of respondents named it their number one priority). The findings signal a dramatic shift in Australian work culture – and a growing pressure on employers to seriously consider their work life balance offering.

“No longer just a buzz term or the domain of the working mum, work life balance is now fundamental to all Australian professionals and will be firmly on the agenda as we move throughout 2015,” said Hudson Executive General Manager Dean Davidson.

While higher salary came in as the second highest priority for Australian job seekers (67%), it was followed closely by cultural fit (64%).

“The fact that cultural fit – that feeling of belonging – is so far up the value chain, and is actually the most important factor for senior executives, demonstrates that fitting in and feeling valued are also important priorities for Australian job seekers in 2015,” said Mr Davidson.

Sourcing and attracting talent a complex game

According to Hudson, the rise of digital and the evolution of networks have created an increasingly complex job market.

“Our report shows three in four employees are open to being approached about a new job opportunity, while eight in 10 have an up-to-date CV and six in 10 have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile,” said Mr Davidson.

Yet while employees may be open to being approached about new opportunities, finding and attracting the right talent is becoming increasingly complex, requiring both a competitive employee offering and a multifaceted sourcing strategy. The scarcity of talent is recognised by hiring managers, with 90% acknowledging they need to look beyond active job seekers to find the right candidate.

According to Hudson, online job boards remain the single most important conduit for sourcing new talent, nominated by hiring managers as their most effective sourcing channel. However times are changing with close to a third (28%) saying online job boards are less effective than two years ago. Australian employers are increasingly adopting a multi-pronged strategy to secure talent, encompassing not only recruitment specialists (34%) but also leveraging personal networks (31%), internal referral schemes (27%) and headhunting (20%).

“This report confirms what we are seeing, in that while digital may have altered the job market forever, best practice hiring is far from a digital-only approach. Social media channels are growing rapidly however their effectiveness as a sourcing channel is still to be proven. External solutions and people networks remain imperative to the process of tapping into high quality candidates,” said Mr Davidson.

Other key highlights of the report include:

  • Almost 1 in 2 hiring managers look to social media when evaluating a candidate. This should not bother most: 82% of professionals are comfortable with their online footprint
  • Psychometric testing is on the rise as the risks of a mis-hire become more serious. 54% of senior executives value it as part of the recruitment process
  • The nature of writing job ads has changed forever. 78% of hiring managers are now using keywords to ensure their ads have the best possible chance of being found

“In 2015 and beyond, hiring managers can no longer afford to take a vanilla approach to hiring. Instead they must take a strategic, tailored approach that runs wide and deep and makes use of the plethora of channels now available to really connect with talent,” said Mr Davidson.

“Hiring managers who engage a mix of strategy, people knowledge and networks will be the ones who win the war for talent and connect with the cream of the talent crop.”

The Top 9: What Australian jobseekers are looking for in 2015

  1. Work life balance (including flexible arrangements)   70%
  2. Higher salary                                                               67%
  3. Cultural fit within organisation and/or team                 64%
  4. Career progression/training opportunities                     58%
  5. Better benefits                                                             46%
  6. A company whose values are closer to mine               36%
  7. Strong manager                                                                        30%
  8. Better brand                                                                 14%
  9. Better job title                                                              13%