Not just a nice paycheck and job security make an employer attractive. To a growing number of employees – particularly women and millennials – a good work-life balance and a pleasant atmosphere are decisive features that make organizations attractive to work for. In order to attract the best and most engaged employees in the future, organizations should not overlook the importance of creating a good work-life balance and fostering a pleasant work atmosphere.

Worldwide, employees rank good work-life balance higher than a year ago; the ranking went from 4th to 3rd on their priority list. Although ranking differently across regions, a pleasant work atmosphere is a top priority for women across the globe. Also, millennials tend to look beyond the pay and job security ‘qualities’ of employers; they want to have it all, both in and out of work, so a good work-life balance is key to their job satisfaction.

Randstad Employer Brand Research (REBR)

These are some of the key findings of Randstad’s latest yearly global research on Employer Branding. After an attractive salary and long-term job security – mentioned by 58% and 46% resp. as important attributes to attractiveness of an organization – 45% mention a good work-life balance and 43% a pleasant work atmosphere as key contributors to company attractiveness. Based on the REBR 2017 research, many employees are more susceptible to these attributes than organizations seem to realize.

Important to employers, but not to employees

The survey found other inconsistencies between what employers present as important in their employer brand and what employees are really looking for. Respondents were asked what the least important attributes in a future employer are. Interestingly, those items which would involve taking risks were selected most often as unattractive. The least important attribute – international career opportunities – is often presented as an advantage by employers. Over half of the respondents found this to be unimportant. This is probably because international opportunities involve outlay and upheaval – something not everyone is willing to undertake.

Most and least appealing sectors

Randstad’s REBR 2017 shows that to employees globally, Technology, IT and Life Sciences are the most appealing sectors to work in, although IT has lost some points in attractiveness after a few years of growth.
Financial Services, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Logistics, Services and Hospitality rank low with only 41%, 40%, 40%, 38% and 33% resp. of employee labeling these sectors as attractive. Companies in these sectors find a serious warning in the REBR 2017; 8 out of 10 employees would consider switching sectors for various reasons. 27% claim not to be very attached to their current sector, 33% would switch if the pay and benefits are at least similar to those in their current job.

Automation will change jobs - retraining welcome

Significant numbers of respondents across the globe believe automation will have a positive effect on their job. In North America and Europe, 30% and 32% resp. of the employees believe automation will make their job better. In Latin America and Asia Pacific, people are even more optimistic, as 55% and 52% resp. feel this way. Almost 40% of all employees surveyed feel that automation will have no effect on their job.

As automation reduces routine tasks and frees up time for employees to work on more interesting and difficult projects, it will also make certain skill sets obsolete. As a result, companies may need to put more emphasis on the need of retraining. When asked about their opinion on the need of retraining, 58% of employees worldwide would be happy to, provided that the pay would stay the same or become better. The numbers for Europe (49%) and North America (51%) are slightly lower than the global average, and are significantly higher in Latin America (69%) and APAC (69%).

The Randstad Employer Brand Research is the most comprehensive, independent and in-depth employer brand research in the world, identifying the most attractive employers among thousands of companies. The research captures the views of over 160,000 respondents (general public, aged 18-65) on 5,495 companies in 26 countries. It provides insights into the perceptions and drivers of choice of potential employees. Why do people prefer one company, or a specific industry, over another? What motivates them to stay with an employer or start looking elsewhere? The research, conducted since 2000, was done by Randstad’s international research partner Kantar TNS. Respondents for the 2017 research were polled between September and December 2016.