Woodside Petroleum has been voted the state’s most attractive employer at this year’s Randstad Awards, which also revealed that competitive salaries had become the most important factor for Western Australian employees.
The awards, first launched in Belgium in 2000 but now held in eighteen countries, was presented to Woodside this morning and alongside research indicating which employers and industries Western Australians considered the most attractive.
Companies are selected from the one-hundred-and-fifty largest employers in the country and then voted for by the public, with results taken from online surveys of over six-hundred-and-fifty Western Australians as part of a larger national survey of seven-thousand Australians.
Randstad’s operations director, Todd Allen, congratulated Woodside on the win, stating that it “demonstrates that Woodside Petroleum is a stand out company, knowing how to effectively create an authentic positive image in the eyes of the public.”
Woodside ranked favourably across all the key selection criteria for the award, including strong management and leadership, interesting job content, career progression opportunities and quality learning and development for employees.
The chief executive of Employer Branding International, Brett Minchington, spoke at the awards this morning, describing how in a time of shallow labour pools and talent shortages, having an attractive employer brand will help in securing employees and prevailing in talent wars with competitors.
Research also released by HR services specialist Randstad and Belgium research firm ICMA today showed that Western Australians placed a greater priority on competitive salaries and benefits when choosing an employer than their national counterparts, with 24 per cent rating it as the most important factor compared to the national figure of 20 per cent.
Despite the difference in figures both state and national populations considered a competitive salary and benefits to be the most important factor when choosing an employer, followed by long-term job security, good work life balance, interesting job content and convenient location.
In light of these results Mr Allen said “while long term job security remains an important factor for West Australian employees, we’ve seen a noticeable shift in priorities toward completive salary and employee benefits, and this needs to be considered by local companies”.
While Mr Allen acknowledged that some organizations may not be in a position to increase salaries he said that employees can be rewarded, “in a variety of ways”, citing flexible work arrangements as an example.
Mr Allen also warned companies that, “employers need to remember that employees in WA and throughout the country have worked hard over the past few years, and during the financial crisis had longer hours, smaller pay packets and tighter deadlines. They are expecting to now be repaid for their faith”.
Other results released showed that professional services was the most attractive industry for Western Australians this year, with employees drawn to the competitive salaries and benefits along with the good work life balance offered by companies in the sector.
Other industries that placed in the rankings were the mining and natural resources sector as the second most attractive industry, followed by the design and engineering, aviation, and the oil and gas sectors.
These results differed greatly from the national equivalent, with Australians voting aviation, mining and natural resources, fast moving consumer goods, federal government agencies and media sectors as the most attractive industries.
Mr Allen said the variety of industries featured in WA showed that employees across most sectors remained confident about the state’s economy, “West Australian employees are still among the most optimistic in the country, enjoying the lowest unemployment levels and highest participation rates of any state”.
He also described how the strength of WA economy had attracted new workers to the state, “the influx of companies building offices in the west has also enticed a broader range of employees to the state, with the impact of this being evident in this year’s Awards”.