Work life balance: What jobseekers want more than money
You might think that to attract top talent you need to show them the money – because that’s what job candidates want most, right?
Not any more. Hudson research shows that for the first time in several years, work life balance is the single most important thing a job seeker is looking for in a new role.
The change has significant implications for the way that hiring managers attract talent. They now have to take the time to find out more about what a candidate wants and present an employee value proposition that goes beyond highlighting the salary and job requirements.
Hudson’s The Hiring Report: The State of Hiring in Australia in 2015 reveals that 70 per cent of workers want work life balance, replacing salary as the most sought after job attribute. After salary at 67 per cent, some 64 per cent of job seekers in Australia are also looking for a good cultural fit.
Organisations therefore have to define what work life balance looks like for their specific roles and consider tailoring working arrangements for top talent.
The change comes at a time when ‘winning over’ candidates has become more important.
The good news is that even when people have a job and aren’t actively looking for a new one, they’re often ready to consider a new role if it’s presented to them. Some 76 per cent of Australian professionals are open to being approached by a recruiter or employer about new job opportunities.
Everyone wants work life balance
Generation X and Baby Boomers both rate work life balance as the most important thing they’re looking for in a job. The result is not overly surprising. After all, many Gen Xers are parents and Baby Boomers are transitioning to retirement.
But what is surprising is that some 70 per cent of Generation Y workers also rate work life balance highly, albeit below a higher salary and career progression. In the past, the start of someone’s career was when they’d give everything to the job – putting in long hours and working on the weekends if required to get ahead.
But Gen Y workers want it all – a higher salary, career progression and work life balance. Older managers might roll their eyes, but this is the reality of today’s employment market. Hiring managers will need to find ways to accommodate workers of all generations to make an attractive job proposition.
This doesn’t necessarily mean less work for a particular role, but it certainly means that companies must be more flexible and creative when determining working conditions.
What is cultural fit?
Cultural fit has really come to the fore as a key aspect in hiring, and now many candidates as well as recruiters see it as essential. For senior executives it is the single most important factor in the desirability of a role, above work life balance and salary.
Put simply, the right cultural fit means an organisation and team with behaviours, values and motivations that complement and echo the individual’s own.
But the difficulty for hiring managers is that those behaviours, values and motivations can mean different things to different people.
For younger workers it might mean working with staff they can share a joke and Friday night drinks with in the office. For older workers it might mean a company with ethics and social responsibility that resonate with them or a company with a brand and image that they feel aligned to and for which they are prepared to spend many hours a week working for.
The implication for hiring managers is that they need to find ways of assessing whether candidates are a good cultural fit. It also means asking candidates whether cultural fit is important to them and – just as importantly – what it means to them.
It’s another way that flexibility and the ability to adapt and attract the right candidates have become crucial attributes of an effective hiring manager.