Employees may be happy, but they are still on the hunt, LinkedIn finds

Employees may be quite satisfied at work, but they could still be actively hunting for a new job, new figures from professional networking site LinkedIn reveal.

LinkedIn’s inaugural Talent Trends 2014 Report found 44% of candidates in Australia and internationally claim to be satisfied with their employment situation, but are on the hunt for a fresh opportunity.

The report surveyed around 18,000 full-time professionals in 26 countries, including over 757 in Australia.

It found 73% of Australian employees are satisfied with their current role, which was in line with the global average, but higher than in Hong Kong at 67%, and Japan at 65%. The Australian average for satisfaction was lower than in New Zealand at 77%, Indonesia at 84% and Sweden at 83%.

It found some staff, who could be described as “passive talent”, meaning they are not actively looking for a new job but are open to being approached, were not as passive as employers might believe. While 41% of respondents described their status as ‘somewhat satisfied’, more than one in five professionals are actively looking for their next role.

A list of top motivations for changing jobs among Australian professionals was topped by the desire for more challenging work, at 33%, followed by opportunities for advancement at 27%, looking for a role that is better fit for their skills at 27%, and significantly better compensation and benefits at 40%.

Employees were also seeking a better work/life balance at 39% and increased learning opportunities at 20%.

New titles and job locations did little to entice passive candidates.

HR Anywhere managing director Martin Nally recently told SmartCompany that in order to keep employees from looking elsewhere, the most valuable thing a workplace can offer staff is flexibility.

“This is the new fashion,” he said. “What we know is that Gen Y are wanting to incorporate work into their lifestyle, whereas previous generations have incorporated their lifestyle into their work.”

Nally said this means offering people flexible working hours, which could mean allowing them to start and finish early to accommodate children, or to negotiate annual leave times fairly.

He also said it is vital to share your company’s vision so they have a sense of ownership, and encouraging staff to bring their great ideas to the table.

Our HR Company managing director Margaret Harrison told SmartCompany that an employee’s pay cheque is often not discussed as often as it should be, and it should be as it impacts loyalty.

“The hard facts of life are that you do need money,” she said. “It is the elephant in the room and it shouldn’t go unsaid.

“It needs to be a top-of-mind issue that people do care about money. Any time we have been doing training programs and we talk about motivation, the first thing I will do is write money on the whiteboard. You can physically see everyone breathing a sigh of relief.”

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