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Work, work, work : Hudson’s survey finds worklife balance tops workers’ priority

Worklife balance has become top priority across the workforce, giving hiring companies something to think about as they seek to attract top talent.

Money figures, so does work life balance. But for the first time work life balance surpassed salary as what gets people going to work in the morning.

According to Hudson’s The Hiring Report: The State of Hiring in New Zealand 2015, 69% of professionals surveyed were motivated by ‘work life balance, including flexible arrangements’ when looking for a new role, with both men (48%) and women (52%) near equally valuing work life balance as their top priority. Baby boomers, particularly, rank work life balance pretty high (72%).

Senior executives list their top three priorities are cultural fit (69%), worklife balance (61%) and higher salary (58%) when it comes to seeking a new role, the report says.

The workforce landscape is also undergoing changes, with GenX becoming among the most head-hunted (53%) – also the generation with the most online footprint (up-to-date LinkedIn profile) at 65%, followed by GenY 60% while baby boomers trail at 50%.

Who wants what?

Gen Y still prize higher salaries (89% of those surveyed), followed by career progression (80%) and worklife (67%).

GenX’s priorities are higher salary (69%), worklife balance (68%) and cultural fit (67%).

For the older generation, the baby boomers, the order is work life balance (72%), cultural fit (57%), and higher salary (50%).

?Source:The Hiring Report, Hudson

Worklife balance is now a key feature among workers. Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand said: “Most of us want to do a decent day’s work, make our mark and achieve in our jobs – but more and more we want to do so with balance in our life and with like-minded peers in an environment where we feel valued.

“A common purpose, shared beliefs and united vision can make the difference between a disengaged employee who works to live, and a passionate one who loves to work. We especially see this come through at higher levels of organisations, where cultural fit was rated the number one priority by 69% of senior executives,” he adds.

But that doesn’t mean a one-size fits all strategy for hiring.

“Work life balance is now key to all New Zealand professionals. But everyone is naturally different. Hiring managers need to understand candidates and craft benefit packages tailored to their wants,” says Mark Steyn, chief executive officer of Hudson, Asia Pacific.

Hudson’s survey covers 763 professionals and hiring managers across New Zealand during October-November 2014.

Salaries still figure significantly for job seekers, in part driven by the stagnation of salary levels in recent years.

How companies hire

Other key highlights of the report include:

  • 90% of hiring manager acknowledge they need to look beyond active job seekers to find the right candidate
  • Almost one in two hiring managers look to social media when evaluating a candidate. This should not bother most: 80% of professionals are comfortable with their online footprint
  • Psychometric testing is on the rise as the risks of a mis-hire become more serious. About 55% of senior executives value it as part of the recruitment process
  • The nature of writing job ads has changed forever. 75% of hiring managers are now using keywords to ensure their ads have the best possible chance of being found.
  • Rogers says:  “Effective hiring is two-way. It starts with what the employer wants – mapping the skills and experience, roles and responsibilities, aptitude and traits they need.
  • “From there, the focus needs to shift to understanding what the ideal candidate wants, to develop a compelling employee value proposition,” he adds.

And, this is particularly important as digital media gives unprecedented access to candidates.

“What we’ve found is that three-quarters (77%) of the workforce, whether actively looking for a new role or not, is open to being approached by recruiters. It’s human nature to be curious about new

“It’s human nature to be curious about new opportunities, yet what begins as curiosity could lead to a more serious issue for employers: retention,” Rogers adds.

Loves peanut sauce, tennis, taichi, stockmarkets, and cool entrepreneurs – not necessarily in that order. In her previous reincarnations, she was an intranet worker bee at Mercer HR Consulting, a Reuters worker ant, and a NZ Herald mule.

Review overview