Lack of promotional opportunities leading Australians to look for new work, survey finds

By Shannon Jenkins

June 15, 2021

resume-hays survey
Hays surveyed roughly 3,500 employers and more than 3,800 employees from the public, private, and charity sectors (Adobe/Jirapong)

Less than half of Australian employees are satisfied with their current job, recruitment company Hays has found.

Hays surveyed roughly 3,500 employers and more than 3,800 employees from the public, private, and charity sectors.

The findings, detailed in the company’s FY21/22 Salary Guide, have revealed 38% of Australian employees plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months, and 39% are open to new opportunities. This is mostly due to a lack of promotional opportunities (43%), and an uncompetitive salary (39%), the survey found.

A poor management style or workplace culture (37%), a lack of new challenges (33%), concerns about job security (33%) and poor training and development (25%) were also cited as reasons for workers being open to securing a new job.

The survey also found just 46% of professionals are satisfied with their current job, around half (49%) are satisfied with their current employer, and 55% are satisfied with their direct manager.

Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand, said the start of a new financial year would likely bring fresh job market activity.

“A new financial year is fast approaching, which traditionally brings fresh activity to the jobs market as new budgets are set and employers look to add to their headcount. Financial year end, like New Year, is also a seasonal peak time of the year for people to review whether they should stay or change jobs,” he said in a statement.

“For employers, this movement of people will add to their staff retention challenges, which are already heightened in response to a gap in salary increase expectations between organisations and their employees.”

Deligiannis noted that many workers feel their career has stagnated over the past year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They put their career plans on hold to help their organisation through the crisis and recover. Now, they are focused on their career again and are prioritising advancement,” he said.

To secure and retain top talent, he has suggested that employers develop a career progression plan.

The survey found employees have developed their soft (46%) and technical skills (45%), or gained additional qualifications (21%) over the past year.

“This upskilling has put professionals in a strong position to jump ship if their career goals can’t be achieved in their current workplace,” Deligiannis added.

Hays has recommended a number of measures that employers can take to promote career progression, including focusing on the continual upskilling of employees, providing promotional pathways, implementing hybrid working, and supporting employee mental health and wellbeing.

The company has also encouraged workers to ‘upskill to stand out’, by offering the right mix of technical and soft skills — such as teamwork, problem solving and communication — and advancing their digital skills.

READ MORE: How to get a promotion in the public sector: 10 tips for getting ahead


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