Almost 11,000 Australians were asked by recruitment firm Randstad about their experiences and sentiments in their workplace, with the results used to list the country’s most sought-after employers.
The 2019 Randstad Employer Brand Research Awards polled a total of 10,861 Australians about the most attractive qualities in a job.
This, combined with questions around brand recognition to look at brands recognised by at least 10 per cent of respondents, was used to compile a list of the country’s 150 most desirable employers, incorporating companies, charities, government departments and public institutions.
Topping the list in 2019 was Qantas, up to places from the same ranking compiled last year.
“With Australia’s unemployment rate at 5 per cent, competition for top talent is fierce. Business leaders must put their best foot forward with a robust image that truly matches a great employee experience,” Randstad Australia’s CEO, Frank Ribuot, said.
“Closing the gap between expectation and reality is what makes an attractive employer and where Qantas really excels, remaining squarely in the top three for four consecutive years.”
Mr Ribuot added: “Over the last couple of years, Qantas has also shown strong financial performance and is highly attractive to Australians seeking stability in their employer.”
In second spot was Epworth HealthCare, followed by Apple, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Tasmanian Government.
According to Mr Ribuot, work/life balance remains a struggle for many people, but particularly younger members of the workforce striving to forge their careers.
“It’s their top reason for leaving a job. We need to listen and do more to retain good employees by delivering the trifecta of work/life balance, long-term job security and a competitive salary,” he said of Generation Z workers.
“Beyond this, employees want to be stimulated by their job and have a clear career path.”
It is also not just employment that workers consider from companies. Randstad found that for 39 per cent of the respondents, their experiences as an employee with a business directly influence their buying behaviour as a consumer — a sentiment they are also willing to share with friends and family.
“Half of Aussies will share their experience with family and friends, taking it far beyond the four walls of the office and ultimately determining if you’re perceived as an attractive employer or not,” Mr Ribuot said.
“The research is a reminder that an employee’s experience can directly impact your business’s bottom line, and your brand reputation needs to be maintained at all stages of the employee journey.”
As a sector, tertiary education recorded a significant improvement on its results last year, with several prominent Australian universities surging all the way into the top 20.
They were the Universities of Melbourne (up 14 places to 7th place), Sydney (up 14 places to 13th), Queensland (up 50 places to 14th) and Monash University (up 39 places to 17th).
Meanwhile, the University of New South Wales, which had already been among the top 20, fell seven places to 15th.
Three companies made even bigger improvements this year, from not appearing at all among the top 150 last year to reaching the top 20 in 2019. They were Infosys Technologies Limited (6th place), Boeing Australia (18th) and Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology (20th).
Tabulated results from the research are listed below.
What do employees most want from their work?
- Work/life balance (54 per cent)
- Salary and benefits (52 per cent)
- Job security (47 per cent)
- Pleasant work atmosphere (40 per cent)
- Good training (36 per cent)
- Flexible arrangements (34 per cent)
- Strong leadership (33 per cent)
- Location (33 per cent)
- Career progression (31 per cent)
- Financially healthy (25 per cent)
10 most attractive industries for Australian employees
- Life sciences
- Early learning
- Professional, scientific and technical activities
- Public administration and defence
- Health and social work
- Professional services
Australia’s 20 most attractive employers in 2019 (and how this compared to 2018)
- Qantas (up two places)
- Epworth HealthCare (up 41 places)
- Apple (down two places)
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (up 11 places)
- Tasmanian Government (up 42 places)
- Infosys Technologies Limited (not in top 150)
- The University of Melbourne (up 14 places)
- Virgin Australia (down six places)
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) (down three places)
- Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (up 10 places)
- Federal Government (up two places)
- Healthe Care Australia (up four places)
- The University of Sydney (up 14 places)
- The University of Queensland (up 50 places)
- The University of New South Wales (down seven places)
- Australian Red Cross Society (up 26 places)
- Monash University (up 39 places)
- Boeing Australia (not in top 150)
- G8 Education (down 10 places)
- Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology (not in top 150)
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.