21 June 2023

Public sector tops most appealing workplace list in latest survey

| Chris Johnson
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The public service has come out on top in a survey asking Australians what they believe are the most appealing places to work.

All up, 48 per cent of Australian workers surveyed ticked the public sector as the employer they believed offered the most attractive working conditions, according to the Employer Brand Research 2023 report from global recruitment and HR services firm Randstad.

This figure grouped jobs in the Commonwealth public sector and state and territory services.

Individually, the Department of Defence ranked the highest, the Federal Government generally fifth placed, and the federal Department of Health and Aged Care came in at number six.

Seventy-five of Australia’s largest private and public organisations were included in the research, alongside a handpicked sample to give a fair representation of the nation’s employers.

This list is presented to a representative cross-section of working-age respondents based on region, age and gender.

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A total of 5991 members of the general public between the ages of 18 and 64 were surveyed, with a slight emphasis towards respondents under 40 as the survey’s target audience is potential employees.

Mining and quarrying came a close second at 47 per cent, transport and logistics at 45 per cent, human health and social work activities at 45 per cent, and retail at 45 per cent.

The report noted how close the top employment sectors rated in the survey.

“The gap between the top 10 most attractive sectors is getting smaller, which means employer brands are becoming more competitive, and the job of attracting and retaining top talent becomes even more difficult,” the Randstad report says.

“In today’s highly competitive talent market, employers are facing significant challenges and competition in attracting and retaining the best talent in Australia.

“With economic uncertainty and job stability at the forefront of many jobseekers’ minds, organisations must consider how they can optimise and adapt their employer offering, also known as an employer value proposition (EVP), to reflect the shifting desires and priorities of today’s jobseekers.”

According to the report, money was important but it wasn’t the only factor in how people regard where they choose to work.

“Despite employee and jobseeker uncertainty, a good work-life balance and competitive salary and benefits packages remain essential considerations for potential employees when considering new employment opportunities,” the report states.

“Non-monetary benefits are crucial to potential employees, particularly when salary increases might not be on the table this year.

“Finally, an employer’s visible and tangible demonstration of their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is highlighted as a significant consideration for potential employees when evaluating a potential employer’s offering.

“Employers that prioritise these factors in their EVP and demonstrate their efforts to create an inclusive environment where employees can bring their best selves to work every day will be well on their way to becoming a competitive and attractive employer brand.”

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Of the top 10 employers identified in the survey, six were in the public sector.

Job security rated highly among respondents and was the top employee EVP driver for the Department of Defence, which also scored well in the career progression and interesting job content categories.

Work-life balance was the top driver in the Department of Health.

Financial health rated high across all workplaces.

“The 2023 Randstad Employer Brand research provides valuable insights into the shifting preferences and priorities of the Australian workforce and highlights how employers can adapt their talent attraction and retention strategies to create a more powerful and inclusive employer brand,” the report states.

“It also brings awareness to issues that still present a barrier to employment for some communities.

“By benchmarking your EVP against Australia’s industry leaders and understanding the gap between what employees indicate they want from their ideal employer and what they perceive is being offered, organisations can identify areas for improvement and take steps to bridge those gaps.”

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Of course tax payer subsidised jobs are attractive. I reckon being born into the English royal family is a tougher gig than most public servant jobs.

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