New employment trends emerging have the potential to transform the hiring process for employers, with Australians revealing what’s really important to them now they’ve lived through the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19.
Research* conducted by employment marketplace SEEK reveals that many Australians are willing to trade salary for job security. And they’re not afraid to ask the hard questions of their new boss to make sure they’ve got the certainty they crave.
It’s hardly surprising given that we’ve witnessed mass job losses this year, with most of us knowing someone who has lost employment.
In a direct trade-off scenario, the research reveals that two in three candidates would choose job security over a higher salary if they had to make a choice.
Even more job seekers would trade career progression opportunities for job security, with 69 per cent saying they would choose job security over advancement.
Salary also takes a back seat when it comes to reducing stress and spending more time with the family, with 66 per cent saying they would choose lower paid work with less stress over a higher paid job with more stress.
The insights come as more than 1.4 million Australians on the JobSeeker payment are contemplating what their priorities are as they prepare to seek new work.
However, even those who haven’t lost their job will be considering their next career move, with one study revealing that the average Australian will change careers anywhere between five and seven times in their life. COVID-19 has invited greater disruption, forcing job seekers to re-think their careers, heightening the projection of this statistic.
According to SEEK’s Resident Psychologist, Sabina Read, learning to cope with lockdowns and uncertainty has helped us grow, and we’ve mostly found more enjoyable and simple ways of living, along with a new perspective on life.
“The pandemic has invited workers to stop and think about what matters. We’ve tested a new way of being, and some of it works better for us as humans. This reflection process has created a shift in how we view work,” she explains
For starters, many job seekers realise that more money doesn’t equal more happiness. Expenditure patterns have shifted, with less frivolous spending and more quality time with family, Read says.
“Many studies have revealed that salaries only matter to a certain point. Money isn’t what brings a sense of enjoyment to life.”
Aussie startup Employment Hero surveyed its employees earlier this year, which also revealed that job security ranked higher than a pay rise among its 200-plus staff.
“New candidates have a lot of questions around job security and want to know what our future holds as a company before coming on board, which shows a shift toward security being increasingly important,” says the company’s chief people officer, Alex Hattingh.
“People also want to know that they can come into the office just for periodic meetings, and work remotely to see more of their family. We’ve even seen people embrace our new ‘remote first’ policy so much that they’ve moved out of Sydney to buy a bigger property to be near family and a better lifestyle.”
It’s a clear sign that for some work has been so tightly connected to who we are that we’ve lost sight of what’s important. 2020 has given us the chance to rethink the way we work, Read says.
While flexibility has been a valuable factor in the workplace, it’s been a difficult thing to put on the table in the past.
“Now, through no choice of our own, we’ve been offered flexible work arrangements and we can all see that it doesn’t impede productivity. We’ve all found new ways of doing things and being happier at the same time,” adds Read.
For advice that’s right for now, visit SEEK Career Advice.
*Source: Independent research conducted by Nature on behalf of SEEK. Interviewing 4800 Australians annually.
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