What do most professionals look for in a job?

Analysis

What do most professionals look for in a job?

Almost nine in ten (87%) job seekers are looking for positions offering perks and policies that promote wellbeing, a new survey reveals.

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A new survey of Australian and New Zealand professionals found almost nine in 10 (87%) job seekers are looking for positions offering perks and policies such as flexible work hours, on-site gyms, healthy eating programs and childcare facilities.

The survey also found that while one in two professionals would leave their jobs if their wellbeing needs weren't being met, hiring managers were mostly in the dark about staff motivations: 81% of managers don’t believe employees would leave if their health and wellbeing weren’t adequately supported.  

The survey of 1000 hiring managers and 2400 professionals, carried out by recruitment firm Robert Walters, suggests effective workplace wellbeing programs are no longer just nice add-ons for employers looking to retain their talent. 

Half of employees will take time off if wellbeing is not supported 


On top of higher turnover rates, employers who aren't meeting their employees’ health and wellbeing needs face significant absenteeism costs. One in two (48%) employees surveyed said they would take more time off if they were experiencing wellbeing issues and didn't receive support from their employer; 43% would put less effort in at work; and 26% said they would start resenting their employer. 

James Nicholson, a managing director (ANZ) at Robert Walters, said: “Many managers may be surprised to find that half of their workforce consider health and wellbeing such a priority that they would be ready to jump ship, should their needs not be met. The results indicate there is ample room for improvement.” 
 
The survey also found that while many medium to large companies have wellbeing programs (64% of those surveyed), only one in three (29%) have a program that is effective, well-implemented and highly utilised. And most hiring managers and employees agreed that their organisation’s health and wellbeing practices could be improved (59% of managers and 56% of employees).

Based on the research, Robert Walters suggests the following tips for businesses seeking to improve their existing health and wellbeing programs.

Three tips for driving a successful wellness program 

 
  1. Senior leaders must be seen to be the champions of the program by talking openly about the wellness initiatives and their own experiences with the program.  
  2. Give employees the chance to help drive the workplace wellness program by getting them involved; eg, offering suggestions and implementing the initiatives, and hosting staff discussion groups. 
  3. Actively promote the workplace wellness program internally to existing employees, and externally to potential candidates. Many employees are not aware of what their employers offer; and while the intranet and email are frequently used by organisations to promote their wellness program, management leadership briefings are underutilised. 
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