Job stability tops employee 'wish list

By: Jason Whittaker


More than half Australia’s workforce has been affected by the global financial crisis, according to the 2009 Onetest Employee Opinion

More than half Australia’s workforce has been affected by the global financial crisis, according to the 2009 Onetest Employee Opinion survey.

The survey of 2,500 Australians, which was conducted by online HR solutions provider Onetest, reveals employment priorities have changed significantly because of the crisis, with job stability shooting to the top of Australian employees’ ‘wish list’.

Key statistics show 67 percent of the Australian workforce feel as though their careers have been affected in the past 12 months, while 22 percent nominated job stability as the most important factor when searching for an employer.

Only 6 percent of respondents claim salary or wages as the most important factor for 2009, and 55 percent feel they have less power to ask for what they want from their employers this year.

Onetest Chief Executive Steven Dahl says the country’s labour market has done a "complete 180 degree turn" in the past year.

"We’ve gone from an applicant shortage to sheer market saturation as rising unemployment caused by the GFC has led to an influx of job seekers vying for fewer positions," Dahl says.

"As a result, respondents indicated the most important factor when searching for an employer was job stability (22 percent) compared to last year’s result of only 12 percent," he says.

Over three quarters of survey respondents (77 percent) indicated they would be willing to accept a position that was not their ideal role.

This statistic was reinforced by the findings that almost 40 percent were also willing to take a pay cut, more than half (55 per cent) were willing to reduce their hours of work, and 64 percent were willing to concede non-financial employment benefits such as flexible work arrangements and health benefits.

Dahl says this proves employers must communicate with their staff and find out what is important to them over the medium to long term to ensure the best employees stay put.

"Career progression opportunities and work/life balance were found to be the most important in the context of job satisfaction with more than one in four believing both these benefits to have the greatest impact on overall satisfaction," he says.

According to the survey, the most important factors affecting job satisfaction are career progression (26 percent) and work/life balance (25 percent)

In line with recent unemployment figures, 12 percent of respondents stated they are currently involuntarily unemployed.

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