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Honesty is the Best Policy

Survey finds honesty really is the best policy for companies looking to attract more workers — SURVEY RESULTS

As the economic environment improves and more employment prospects arise for U.S. workers, a company’s ability to attract talent may hinge not only on its job offer, but also on its “personality.” A 2014 Employer Branding Study released by Randstad US uncovers which personality traits candidates look for when choosing an employer, as well as which key job aspects are most attractive to workers.

Finding the right employer personality. The study reveals the majority of workers (78 percent) look for an employer that is—first and foremost—honest. Also significant to job hunters is finding an employer that is reliable (71 percent), secure (62 percent) and well-respected (51 percent). Survey respondents rated the least critical personality traits as being whether a company is daring (6 percent), robust (6 percent) or masculine (4 percent).

“This is the first time the Randstad Employer Branding Study has measured personality traits important to prospective employees, and it’s extremely valuable for employers to know honesty holds such high importance,” said Jim Link, Chief HR Officer, Randstad North America. “Leading organizations understand a strong employer brand creates an important advantage for attracting today’s best talent, so identification of the top attributes wanted in a company allows leaders to refine their brand strategy.”

The study also found that beyond basic factors such as salary and benefits, workers’ evaluate employment options based on the prospect of long-term job security (55 percent), a pleasant working atmosphere (49 percent) and good work/life balance (43 percent). Lower-rating criteria include whether a company uses the latest technologies (9 percent), is concerned with the environment and society (9 percent) or offers international/global career opportunities (7 percent).

Workers identify causes of work/life imbalance. Even though employees named work/life balance as a top criterion for employer selection, most continue to struggle with maintaining a healthy balance between home and work life. According to the study, employees rated the factors that most threaten a balanced work culture as being a bad working environment (49 percent), poor cooperation with colleagues (44 percent) and a lack of support to meet deadlines (42 percent).

Additionally, the concept of work/life balance highly influences why workers remain with their current employers. When asked what would motivate them to work more years for their company, employees named “a more relaxed work schedule” as the top motivator, and “the possibility to adapt work hours” ranked third. Women more often see their work/life balance put at risk by long work days, while men cite too many deadlines.

“Shortages of highly skilled workers are heating up talent wars across many industries,” said Link. “Any competitive edge that facilitates the acquisition of top talent directly impacts the bottom line, which validates the importance of an intentional and effective employer brand. Employers can create these advantages not only by promoting softer brand attributes such as honesty and reliability, but also by moving the dial on the daily nuts-and-bolts issues impacting workers, such as maintaining a pleasant work environment and offering a true culture that balances work and life commitments.”

Source: Randstad US.