Almost three-quarters (73%) of Australian workers would like a job offering flexible work practices. Career progression opportunities came in next (72%), with ongoing learning and development (59%) also important when job searching, according to a survey by recruiting experts Hays conducted for the annual Hays Salary Guide.
These rank ahead of more than 20 days’ annual leave (28%), health and wellness programs (15%), financial support for study (12%) and payment of usage charges for employee-owned devices at work (8%).
As for the benefits employees say they receive, 70% get flexible work practices, 56% ongoing learning & development and 45% career progression opportunities.
Less popular offerings are health and wellness programs (36%), over 20 days’ annual leave (32%), financial support for study (30%), payment of usage charges for employee-owned devices at work (25%), free or subsidised food (20%), a day off for your birthday (7%) and onsite childcare (3%).
“With salary increases set to be even more restrained this year, the benefits an organisation offers will help to attract and retain top talent, particularly if they support career advancement,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.
Flexibility is standard, making its absence a recruiting limitation
Flexible work practices is the number one benefit professionals want (73%) and receive (70%), but just 45% of employees are ‘very satisfied’ or ‘extremely satisfied’ with their current level of work-life balance.
“An organisation that doesn’t offer flexible working options is now in the minority and this has an obvious impact on attraction and retention,” says Nick. “You can get back in the game to compete for the top talent by reviewing and implementing policies in this area, such as staggered start and finish times.”
According to the survey, the most common flexible working practices employers offer are flexible working hours and compressed working weeks (77%), part-time employment (75%) and flex-place, such as working from home or an alternative location (66%). Less common are flexible leave options, such as purchased leave (38%), job sharing (31%), career breaks (18%) and phased retirement (16%).
The annual Hays Salary Guide is based on a survey of more than 3,000 organisations representing over 2.3 million employees. It is now in its 40th year.
Get your copy of the 2018-19 Hays Salary Guide.