A little while ago, we published an article about the current challenges many Australian businesses are facing in sourcing and hiring top talent. As the country experiences its lowest population growth in three decades, companies are staring down the barrel of widespread skills shortages, record-high wage growth and employment levels, and high demand for goods and services for years to come.
Labour shortages have plunged Australia into a candidate-driven market, giving job seekers the upper hand in deciding what roles they consider going for and under what circumstances. Top skilled workers have the luxury of choice when it comes to negotiating better pay and company benefits like flexible working conditions and health insurance.
Companies that wish to attract and retain top skilled workers in Australia must consider what it is they value most, and what they look for, in their ideal role. Recognising and acknowledging these values in job descriptions and interviews will ensure businesses attract the most suitable candidates to their open roles.
What are candidates looking for in their ideal role in 2023?
According to Randstad’s report 2022 Employer Brand Research, salary is no longer the biggest motivator when it comes to choosing a role or changing jobs. 62% of candidates say they want work-life balance in their next role, with 58% saying they want a better salary and benefits, followed by job security (56%), job training (53%) and work atmosphere (51%).
According to Seek.com, the top three drivers for candidates in their job hunt align with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and have largely remained the same for over ten years; salary (survival), work-life balance (connection) and career development (self-growth and development). What’s interesting about this finding is that the top drivers are all about them, not the company. So, while it’s important to address factors like company reputation and culture, candidates will mostly resonate with the areas of an EVP that speak to their individual values.
Work-life balance is no longer a “nice to have” aspect of a role but an expectation and, in many cases, a requirement. As workers are expected to meet increasingly tight deadlines and hit targets, they’re working longer hours and taking on responsibilities outside their scope of work. Those with young families who want to return to work also want the flexibility to maintain family life. They want to get the work done in an arrangement that works for them.
If it’s work-life balance that candidates are valuing in today’s market, then this will come at an advantage for Australia employers that are feeling the crunch from dwindling revenue in a challenging economy. Companies can now negotiate on terms other than salary.
Companies that offer hybrid working conditions (part working from home, part working in office), fully remote conditions and/or flexible working hours can also cast the net wider in their hunt for candidates. Instead of limiting their search to the city they’re headquartered, they can look to regional towns and even overseas.
How to create an Employee Value Proposition that will captivate Australia Skilled Workers
So how do Australian businesses create an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that will win over the right candidates?
Understanding what candidates want from an employer, and acknowledging these values in their EVP, will help Australian businesses capture the attention of top skilled workers that will help meet their business needs.
What is an Employee Value Proposition (EVP):
An EVP is a company statement that communicates the unique benefits of your company to prospective employees. It usually covers your company values and culture, as well as things like remuneration, benefits and company perks. It outlines why your organisation is the ideal place for your ideal candidates.
According to Vervoe, companies that deliver on an EVP see a 70% decrease in employee turnover and an almost 30% increase in new hire commitment.
Although your EVP communicates to candidates and employees what they’ll get in return for working at your organisation, it’s not the same thing as your employer brand, which encompasses the reputation the wider world, not just employees and potential employees, has for your organisation.
Your EVP can be as short or as long as it needs to be, so long as it highlights all of the critical elements it needs to include and what’s most important to attract the right candidates.
For an EVP that captivates Australian workers in 2023, consider the following:
- Worklife balance: what factors within your organisation promote a healthy work-life balance? Do you enable your employees to work from home part- or full-time? Do you allow them to choose their own working hours within reason?
Part of Hubspot’s EVP encompasses a statement on how they offer unlimited vacation, fully remote work, a five-year sabbatical and parental leave, along with a raft of company perks. They promise to “help you be the best “you” that you can be”.
- Remuneration: outline how/if you can meet your employees’ salary expectations and include additional rewards such as bonuses, travel allowances and additional paid leave. Also, consider whether or not their salary will be increased periodically – say, by 5% every 12 months – and under what circumstances.
- Job security: Your EVP should encompass all the ways in which your organisation will protect its employees from layoffs, economic downfalls and other factors that could impact employment. Does your organisation prioritise future-minded leadership? Does it encourage learning and development or have a no-redundancy policy?
- Career development: include the opportunities you offer employees to further their careers, develop their skills and train them in new areas. This is where you’ll include learning and development efforts such as Professional Development Plans, mentoring and coaching, educational allowances and so on.
- Affiliation/reputation: skilled professionals don’t want to be associated with a weak brand, poor business performance or Corporate Social Responsibility record. In this section, consider factors like your corporate values, wider reputation, the quality of your product and/or service, growth objectives and position in the marketplace. How your organisation impacts its people and the wider community is a key consideration for candidates when choosing the roles they apply for.
- Company culture: address how your organisation contributes to a vibrant and positive culture. Include collaboration, leadership style and general approach to work. What are the social dynamics within your organisation? Is there a safe place for workers to express their opinions without fear of reprisal?
For example, Netflix’s EVP says the company prioritises “people over process”, summing up its values in five statements;
- Encourage independent decision-making by employees
- Share information openly, broadly, and deliberately
- Be extraordinarily candid with each other
- Keep only our highly effective people
- Avoid rules
Each company is unique, just as each employee is unique; your Employee Value Proposition should reflect this. An EVP should encompass all of the intangible (e.g. diversity and company culture) and tangible benefits (e.g. parental leave, salary, health benefits) of working for your organisation. Think beyond your corporate brand and let your people guide how you formulate it, starting with what they value the most in your company.
Keen to understand how Australia PEO can help you attract and retain skilled workers in Australia? Speak to our dedicated team of HR professionals today.