Work life balance trumps money for Kiwi workers

Work life balance has surpassed salary as the primary motivator for New Zealand professionals for the first time...

Work life balance has surpassed salary as the primary motivator for New Zealand professionals for the first time, according to The Hiring Report: The State of Hiring in New Zealand 2015.

More than two-thirds (69%) of professionals were motivated by ‘work life balance, including flexible arrangements’ when looking for a new role, with both men (48%) and women (52%) near equally valuing work life balance as their top priority.

This was followed by higher salary (68%) and cultural fit (63%), career progression and/or training opportunities (56%), better benefits (48%) and better alignment with a company’s values (38%) while only 10% were motivated by a better job title.

The results may, in part, be driven by the stagnation of salary levels in recent years.

While it remains to be seen if this represents a permanent cultural shift, it clearly shows that employees want more than just a pay cheque and that the importance of understanding what motivates people has never been more critical to ensuring organisational success.

“Most of us want to do a decent day’s work, make our mark and achieve in our jobs – but more and more we want to do so with balance in our life and with like-minded peers in an environment where we feel valued,” says Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand.

“A common purpose, shared beliefs and united vision can make the difference between a disengaged employee who works to live, and a passionate one who loves to work.

“We especially see this come through at higher levels of organisations, where cultural fit was rated the number one priority by 69% of senior executives.”

Sourcing and attracting talent a complex game

Sourcing and attracting top talent continues to be challenging, and the rise and evolution of the digital landscape has created an increasingly complex job market.

“Effective hiring is two-way. It starts with what the employer wants – mapping the skills and experience, roles and responsibilities, aptitude and traits they need,” Rogers adds.

“From there, the focus needs to shift to understanding what the ideal candidate wants, to develop a compelling employee value proposition.”

And, this is particularly important as digital media gives unprecedented access to candidates.

“What we’ve found is that three-quarters (77%) of the workforce, whether actively looking for a new role or not, is open to being approached by recruiters,” Roger adds.

“It’s human nature to be curious about new opportunities, yet what begins as curiosity could lead to a more serious issue for employers: retention.

“Again this highlights the importance of understanding what makes employees tick in order to retain them.

“We’re seeing the realisation of this reflected in more rigorous hiring practices and the rise of psychometric testing in driving the creation of a more cohesive, engaged and ultimately more productive team environment.”

Other key highlights of the report include 90% of hiring managers acknowledge they need to look beyond active job seekers to find the right candidate.

Meanwhile, almost 1 in 2 hiring managers look to social media when evaluating a candidate but according to findings this should not bother most as 80% of professionals are comfortable with their online footprint.

Psychometric testing is on the rise as the risks of a mis-hire become more serious with 55% of senior executives valuing it as part of the recruitment process.

Also, the nature of writing job ads has changed forever with 75% of hiring managers now using keywords to ensure their ads have the best possible chance of being found

“Organisations cannot afford to take a vanilla approach to hiring,” Rogers adds.

“Instead they must tailor their tactics to navigate the plethora of channels available, finding the right ‘mix’ of strategy, digital, contacts, and networks nurtured over many years – it’s part science, part networks, part art.

“With the new year upon us, now more than ever organisations must think smarter in order to define, find and secure the great talent they will need to help them succeed in 2015.”

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