Google has again been identified by the public as the leading place to work, with the option of self-employment lagging behind in third position.
According to a new Insync Surveys report, self-employment is the third most desirable job behind working for Google and Virgin, with Apple and Qantas completing the top five. The Walt Disney Company, media agency OMD, Sydney Water, Getaway and Coca Cola also made the top 10.
Insync chief executive James Garriock says even though self-employment ranks highly, only 12% of people who want to start their own business are actually self-employed. Also, only 35% of self-employed people actually believe they are working for their dream employer.
“I guess what this shows is that when you become self-employed and start a business, it’s extremely hard work and it’s really not all it’s cracked up to be,” Garriock says. “The number one reason for people wanting to be self-employed is work-life balance, but you go from working five days to seven.”
“The issue here is that self-employed people need to truly love what they are doing because you don’t mind doing it if you work seven days a week. It truly is a lot of hard work.”
The study found workers want reward and recognition just as much as generous salaries and perks but ultimately, they want to work for a company with a good reputation and an inspiring culture.
John Rawlinson, executive officer of HR company Talent2, says start-ups can use this last point to their advantage, more so than big companies. “It all boils down to these three words: employee value proposition,” he says.
“What that means is, why would I work for you and what do I get when I work for you? Why would I stay?”
“If there’s people that want lots of security in their employment, and lots of infrastructure and people around them – and you’re a small start-up – then you’re never going to appeal to that part of the market because you can’t offer that.”
Rawlinson says start-ups have the flexibility to create their own culture and write their own rules, which in turn benefits their employees.
“A lot of smaller, start-up businesses mightn’t be able to pay the big salaries. But they’ve got much more flexibility than the large organisations,” he says. “All that your employee value proposition needs to do is appeal to the sorts of people that you want in your business.”