What Workers Want

Almost half of the workforce rate their work-life balance as average, poor or terrible

Claire McGovern

Reporter:

Claire McGovern

Work-life balance

69% of employees are willing to take a pay cut in order to secure a better cultural fit at work.

69% of employees are willing to take a pay cut in order to secure a better cultural fit at work, according to a new report published today by leading recruitment company, Hays. Just over a third (34%) stated that they would accept a pay cut of over 5%.

The ‘What Workers Want Report 2017’, based on survey findings of over 1,200 respondents, explores the importance of four key factors in determining job selection: pay, culture, career progression and benefits. 

43% of candidates would turn down a job offer if no training and development was offered by the employer. Indeed, pay aside, professional development is viewed as more rewarding (18% of employees) than a promotion (13%) or an improved job title (just 2%).

Annual leave is another particularly important factor. Nearly half (45%) of employees said that they would be prepared to take a pay cut to secure more. This was higher amongst Generation X and Generation Z (both 53%).

Almost half of the workforce (44%) rate their work-life balance as average, poor or terrible. Over two-thirds (69%) say that they would be attracted to work for an organisation that restricts ‘out-of-hours’ working.

Offering the full package

With Ireland’s workforce displaying strong interest in benefits, fewer than half (42%) of employers state that they discuss the benefits on offer with potential candidates during interviews.

When looking at what employers deem to be important when considering a new hire, cultural fit comes second only to a candidate’s skillset. Almost a quarter (24%) rank it above a candidate’s potential and even their qualifications.

Prioritising communication

Richard Eardley, Managing Director at Hays Ireland, said that to be competitive in recruiting and retaining professionals, employers should ensure they are offering a total package and communicating all aspects of it effectively, from interview through to career development conversations.

“Culture is an increasingly important factor in the decision-making process for employees. Not only did our findings show that professionals say they would be prepared to take a pay cut to work for an organisation that is a better cultural fit, but they are also looking for an employer with a diverse and engaging culture.

“Receiving additional professional development and training is also viewed as more rewarding than moving up a level or getting an improved job title. An awareness of this should prompt employers to fully explore the breadth of their career development practices both during internal career review meetings and when hiring.”

The survey findings also reveal that although both genders are ambitious and want to progress to senior management (42% of men and 38% of women), far fewer women are aspiring to reach board-level positions within their organisations.

“Interestingly, 29% of professionals will always look for an organisation’s diversity policy, with an additional 38% sometimes looking for it, reflecting a growing interest in this area. If employers have diversity policies or initiatives, they should be sure to highlight them to prospective employees, while also utilising staff successes to repeatedly reinforce this messaging.”

 The Hays What Workers Want Report 2017 is available to download at https://www.hays.ie/what- workers-want.