Offering the complete package

    Employers must offer the complete package to ambitious employees looking for a more positive career experience, writes Sarah Stevenson, director at Hays in the Thames Valley.

    Professionals across the Thames Valley are looking for a more positive career experience suggesting employers need to review their offerings to avoid stifling workplace ambition.

    This comes after findings from our recent Hays What Workers Want report 2017 revealed that pay continues to be top priority for employees, when contemplating staying in a role or considering accepting a new job.

    However, while competitive pay is a must it doesn’t provide ambitious professionals with complete satisfaction as over a third of workers told us they are dissatisfied or indifferent towards their current role. So, employers in the region need to consider how else they can retain and attract ambitious professionals in a skills-short market.

    Competitive pay is essential, but so is the complete package

    According to our research, pay influences 45% of an employee’s decision to move roles and the other 55% of the decision-making process is a combination of culture, career progression and benefits.

    Many workers in the Thames Valley say their job search is focused on securing a higher salary. However, there is room for negotiation with regards to pay, as 59% of workers across all generations said they would consider taking a pay cut in order to achieve everything else that is important to them.

    Interestingly, culture is key, as close to two-thirds of workers in the region said they would take a pay cut for a better workplace culture and this was rated the second most important factor when deciding to stay with a company, or accept a new role.

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    Career paths should encourage ambition

    Positively, 80% of the region’s workforce considers themselves ambitious and many say they are aspiring to reach board level or senior management during their career.

    Following this, training and development was rated the most important aspect when receiving a promotion, after better pay and recognition and respect, showing that there is a greater focus on career development for employees.

    The response for sacrificing a job if training isn’t offered further emphasised high levels of ambition in the region and the importance of career progression, as 39% of professionals said they would be willing to sacrifice a job offer if no training is given.

    We also found a mismatch between the training support professionals want from their employer, and what they receive. 70% of the respondents said they want to receive third-party training, but only 37% claim they currently receive this. Additionally, 49% want access to mentoring, but only 23% said they receive this.

    Employers need to ensure that their training offerings are well communicated with staff, as well as regularly discussing career devlopment and in turn what training could benefit both them and the business.

    Benefits expected as standard

    Despite benefits being rated as the fourth most important factor for employees looking to stay or move jobs, it is still necessary to communicate your offering clearly, as a base level is expected by employees as standard. For example, flexible working is said to be important to 88% of employees when looking at a future employer.

    The results show benefits need to be better communicated within job interviews, to counter risks of being overlooked. Only 27% of employees said benefits were discussed with them in their last interview, yet 52% of

    Hays-Sarah-Stevenson
    Sarah Stevenson

    employers said they discuss this during the interview process, highlighting the need for employers to improve communication of policies and practices in the recruitment process.

    Looking ahead

    Traditional ways to nurture ambition will need to adapt to a changing workforce and employers should be looking at how they can do this, if they are not doing so already, to provide the positive career experience that their employees desire.

    There is no pretending that pay remains top priority for employees when considering their career prospects, but employers cannot forget the other factors that are also influencing their decisions. Culture is important to workers, and they want to see that their career development is being approached on a personal basis in an organisation where they are a good cultural fit.

    Overall, employees in the region want to be empowered to make choices that best suit them and their career goals, from what benefits they can take to the types of training they can access.

    For further information, or to request your own copy of the report, visit the website:

    hays.co.uk/what-workers-want