We’re in the midst of a great job boom, with market conditions unlike anything we’ve experienced in recent years. COVID-19 has played a critical role in this shift, and its knock-on effects will be felt across the hiring market for the foreseeable future. That means you need to become more adaptable and shape your workplace to meet the demands of top talent.
In the second part of this series on hiring in a candidate’s hold the power, we examine the role your employee value proposition (EVP) should play. An EVP answers the “Why should I work for you?” question, so it’s critical that you get it right.
The Australian hiring market is more competitive than ever
Despite there being more jobs advertised on SEEK today than in its 25-year history, applications per job ad are down 50.7% compared to March 2019. This is despite visits to SEEK by job seekers remaining stable, which indicates that candidates are more reticent about taking the plunge and applying for roles.
These factors are contributing to a highly competitive market for talent, according to Elyssia Clark, Head of Customer Insights and Strategy at SEEK. That is not only important when it comes to sourcing new talent, but also retaining your best people. The solution? Focus on crafting a timely and appealing EVP.
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“If you’re an employer who is currently looking to recruit, it’s never been more important to refine and communicate your unique EVP,” she says.
So, to help you on the path to attracting top talent, here are the three pillars your EVP needs to focus on in 2022 and beyond.
Up first is ‘Organisation’ — this pillar is all about the elements of your business that attract candidates and motivate them to stay. Clark suggests hiring managers investigate SEEK’s Laws of Attraction interactive data portal, which provides insightful data to help you build productive relationships with candidates based on an understanding of what’s most important to them.
“When it comes to what workers want, [the data shows us that] the top three drivers focus on ‘salary and compensation’, ‘work-life balance’ and ‘career development’,” Clark says. “This is often followed by ‘organisation’, which refers to the culture of the business.”
The value that candidates place on these elements differs across demographics. For example, more than one in four Millennials (aged 25–41) say salary and compensation is their top driver when considering a role, which is significantly more than Gen Z (under-25s) at 18.2% and Baby Boomers (over-58s) at 19.1%.
“You can then dig even deeper into what people want in your industry,” Clark adds. “For instance, ‘salary and compensation’ is the number-one driver in the information, communication and technology (ICT) industry. In fact, it over-indexes on importance compared to other industries. And when you break that down, it’s not just the base salary that’s important — it’s the availability of regular salary reviews.”
The ‘Opportunities’ pillar covers what candidates have access to at your organisation. Get this element right, and it can provide your business with a competitive edge, especially in a candidate’s market.
“Understanding what candidates really want will help set you apart from similar organisations who are trying to march to the same beat,” Clark says, referencing more data from the Laws of Attraction research.
“For Gen Z, ‘work-life balance’ is their top driver when they’re looking for a job — within that, 39% say ‘additional leave’ is their number-one must-have, followed by ‘time in lieu’ and the ability to take unpaid leave, which are both must-haves at 30%.”
Clark explains that Gen Z is new to the workforce, so there is still much they want to see and experience. Ask yourself: how can your organisation tap into that desire? Are there ways your business could provide extended-leave options? Are there secondment opportunities in new locations? Can you accommodate flexible hours or a hybrid-work situation?
The ‘Extras’ pillar includes the perks of the job. Clark refers to these as the “cherries on top” that enhance the employee experience and encourage talent to join your organisation — and stay for the long haul. In many cases, these extras can be the deciding factor for a candidate who is weighing up two comparable job offers.
“Flexibility, for instance, used to be considered a nice-to-have, but now it’s an expectation among candidates,” Clark says. “Not only do they expect flexibility, but they want to know how it’s delivered. Be prepared to articulate your policies on working from home, time in lieu or additional leave, and whether you have on-site childcare.”
In terms of salary and compensation, it’s also important to think beyond just the base salary. Candidates now expect salary reviews to be built into their contracts, and in some industries there are expectations around allowances for phones, clothing and work vehicles.
The way we hire has changed forever. It’s time to adapt to new market conditions if you’re wanting to attract the best people to your business.
The way we work has changed and SEEK has all the latest local insights to help you adapt and thrive. Whether you’re a business looking to attract the best talent in the competitive market, a manager wanting to retain your people or a jobseeker hoping to take advantage of the great job boom, SEEK’s advice, tools and resources can help you get there.