Flexibility and training top workers’ wish lists

A new report reveals 82% of Australians are open to new career opportunities, with workers put off their current jobs by longer working hours, fewer resources and a lack of financial reward.


The Hidden Hunters report, commissioned by job site CareerOne.com.au, was carried out by independent research agency The Acid Test, which surveyed 1,000 Australians who are either working or looking for work.


The findings reveal more than 700,000 Australians are actively looking for a job compared to 12 months ago, with men more keen than women to secure alternative employment.


According to Dawn Tingwell, CareerOne national sales director, the pursuit of flexible work arrangements is becoming a “unisex desire”, where previously women were seen to be more concerned with flexibility than their male counterparts.


With regard to satisfaction levels, Tingwell says the Australian workforce is less satisfied with their jobs – across all the measures used in the research – since 2010.


“This is particularly true of clerical, administration and sales workers, and evident across a broad range of industries from advertising, education, hospitality, logistics, marketing and property,” she says.


The research measures satisfaction across career path, actual role, job security, team, pay, management, flexibility and hours worked.


Seven different types of job hunters are identified in the report, each in pursuit of different things including personal ambition, recognition, rewarding challenges, flexibility, contentment, and a supportive environment.


Flexibility represents the largest segment, comprising 26% of the market, with the unisex trend coupled by an increase in professional or tertiary-educated workers.


Those who fall into the personal ambition segment, which are typically white collar males, make up 10% of the job market yet represent the highest degree of job-hunting activity.


They are disenchanted by longer working hours, no clear career progression and a lack of financial reward, driving 41% to look for new job opportunities.


Those pursuing a supportive environment are the second most active job-hunters this year, with 40% looking for new job opportunities to provide them with a  good team environment, training opportunities and conveniently-located workplaces.


Another report by recruitment firm OfficeTeam, which surveyed 540 Australian administrative professionals, reveals career progression is a major priority, suggesting employers who fail to facilitate this risk losing staff.


According to the survey, 59% of administrative and office support staff are actively seeking or considering looking for a new job, with more than half citing career development as the reason for wanting to move.


OfficeTeam associate director Stephen Langhammer says employers should not underestimate the career aspirations of administrative staff, arguing those who fail to provide such staff with development opportunities risk losing them altogether.


“Administrative staff are the backbone of companies and often hold a lot of organisation knowledge… It can be very disruptive to the whole office if they leave,” Langhammer says.


“Employers can start by talking to administrative staff about their ambitions, and then provide opportunities for them to get involved with tasks that are outside their current role,” he says.


“Providing growth opportunities for administrative staff will increase loyalty, so when they are ready to progress, there is more chance that they will stay within their current company.”


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