Workers stay put, but not out of loyalty

by 24 Jan 2012

Australian employees are staying in their current jobs in what’s become the lowest level of mobility seen in the past year and a half – but employers are warned it’s largely due to low confidence, not high engagement.

According to the latest labour mobility index by recruitment and HR services company Randstad, Australian workers’ confidence in finding a new job has been severely affected by global economic uncertainty despite the relative strength of our local markets.

The index tracks changes in the expectations of workers to be employed elsewhere in the next six months, and the latest Workmonitor report has found that just 9% of Australians are actively looking for a new job. Reduced worker mobility goes hand in hand with the global economic insecurity, according to Randstad CEO Fred van der Tang, as workers prefer the safety of staying with their current employer.

“With the Australian economy continuing to feel ripples from overseas economic instability – the most recent being the announcement of further job cuts in the banking and finance sector – it’s natural to see workers taking a cautious approach, and bedding down in their current roles,” he said.

The implications of this latest report are two-fold for employers, and according to Van der Tang, it is important for employers to adapt their hiring approach to suit the current conditions.

Firstly, employees recognise that the labour market is still favouring them, and with the skills shortage continuing to create opportunities, competitive salary packages remain a firm expectation.

Secondly, employers less able to offer pay above the competition may need to be more creative and should focus on improving and promoting their employer brand. The ‘best employers’ continue to offer a broad package of benefits and incentives, such as training and development opportunities, a good work/life balance and flexible working options.

In a global context, Australia ranked 11th for actual mobility, 17% of Australians having changed jobs in the previous six months.

The report also found that of Australian workers:

  • 66% feel their performance is not reflected in their salary

  • 60% are happy to work a further two years beyond retirement age

  • 46% are expecting a pay rise in the next six months

  • 51% expect improvements in their benefits

  • 69% are satisfied or very satisfied about working with their current employer

  • 11% are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied about working with their current employer

  • 17% had no fear of losing their job



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