Are You Delivering What Jobseekers Want?

A recent survey by Randstad US shows that there’s a gap between what U.S. jobseekers want and what employers are providing.

Working in America has changed a lot in the last century. Human resources—which didn’t even emerge as a profession until the early 1900s—entailed little more than hiring, training, and paying employees. Work-life balance wasn’t a thing back then, but child labor was. There also weren’t flex schedules, though there were dangerous working conditions. And forget about the idea of equal pay for equal work.

These days the working landscape looks a little different.

Employers are paying more attention to the needs and wants of their employees, perhaps more than they ever have before. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management found in its 2015 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey that after a five-year slump, employee job satisfaction is on the rise again. Eighty-six percent of U.S. employees reported satisfaction with their jobs, citing respectful treatment, trust between workers and senior management, benefits, compensation, job security, and relationships with supervisors.

“A 21st century company has to be employee-centric in order to stay relevant and push the boundaries of industry,” wrote one contributor on Forbes. “After all, it’s great people that make a great company.”

But a recent survey by the American staffing and HR services company, Randstad US, shows that, in some cases, U.S. employers are still coming up short in delivering what employees want.

According to the Employer Branding survey, what respondents most want from an employer are salary and employee benefits, long-term job security, and a pleasant working atmosphere. These attributes are at odds with the features that respondents feel employers are best at delivering, including financial health, strong management, and good training.

“These findings reveal an ‘attributes gap’ between what U.S. jobseekers want and what they perceive potential employers to be best at providing,” said Jim Link, Chief Human Resource Officer, Randstad North America, in a press release. “What this should signify to employers is a growing disconnect that can be detrimental from an employee engagement, retention, and, ultimately, cost perspective.”

What can employers do? Randstad recommends that organizations figure out who they’re competing against for talent—and determine how to improve their own performance. Randstad also suggests that employers clearly communicate their employee value proposition and their benefits and programs. Looking ahead to anticipate the future needs of your employees is a good idea, too.

“While organizations may not be able to influence every workplace desire, managing workers’ wants and needs should not only be done from a macro-level by the organization, but also much more frequently from a micro-level by managers to ensure alignment,” Link said.

How does your association prioritize the biggest “wants” of your prospective employees?


Emily Bratcher

By Emily Bratcher

Emily Bratcher is a Contributing Editor for Associations Now. MORE

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