Mar 22, 2022 2:14:45 PM

The Challenge of Retaining and Attracting Quality Staff

Topics: Financial Health, Health and Wellbeing, COVID-19 0

As the number of unfilled staffing positions continue to grow in the wake of “The Great Resignation”, across Australia, employers are scrambling to offer up “mega-perks” in a bid to retain existing employees and attract new talent. Everything from “heartbreak leave” and extended parental leave, to wellbeing allowances, free cookery classes and time off for life’s big events; businesses are having to get creative when it comes to enticing and holding onto staff. Here’s a closer look.


More Aussies changing jobs

Research into employee sentiment has uncovered some startling results: The data shows around nearly half (42 per cent) of Australian workers plan to change jobs within the next six months, 11 per cent of those because they want more flexibility.

What’s more, an analysis of data for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows Australia has one of the lowest job tenure rates of the OECD countries. Just 26 per cent of employees stay with Australian employers for longer than 10 years, compared to close to 50 per cent in Greece, Italy and Portugal.

With thousands of job openings and a skills shortage thanks to COVID-19 border restrictions, employers are having to look at more creative ways to retain and attract quality staff. 

Mega-perks hit the spot

As well as an extra five day’s paid leave for life’s big events – to be used for anything from a tough break up to the first day of school – on top of annual and sick leave entitlement, Fintech company Finder is ramping up its offering to staff, including a paid wellbeing day and mental health first aid training for staff.

“Work-life balance is a myth, this is about work-life integration and we want to support our crew both inside and outside of work,” said Chief People Officer, Shanyn Payne. 

“We know that happier employees lead to stronger companies. Next up we are reviewing our flexible working philosophy to be more inclusive and attract a wider pool of talent across the country,” she noted. 

Aussie design company Canva has introduced “vibe and thrive” allowances which can be used on gym memberships, home office set ups or social celebrations, even providing Zoom yoga, cooking classes, magic shows and trivia for staff.

And it’s not uncommon for businesses to cover extra costs like Uber transport, short term accommodation for staff relocating, and meal allowances, or to offer bonuses or incentives like a four-day work week or flexible parental leave in an effort to entice new talent and retain existing.  

A new brand of employers

In today’s hiring market, it’s apparent, a generous benefits package is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. And, while it’s traditionally been the larger companies providing over-the-top benefits – think Google and Facebook – these days there are plenty of smaller companies competing for talent with offerings that are just as enticing.

But what should a business do if it can’t afford to offer mega-perks? The good news is, you don’t need to break the bank to compete for employees, as most staff place great value on benefits that don’t cost employers much. Things like flexible working hours, time off for important events, and work-from-home options; the right mix of benefits could provide businesses with a competitive edge when it comes to attracting employees.

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