Employers at risk as restless staff look elsewhere

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2014

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Kiwi businesses risk bleeding talent as restless employees look for higher-paid jobs and more interesting roles, according to the latest Hudson report.

The recruitment firm's salary and employment insights guide for 2014 surveyed over 5000 employers and 5700 employees in New Zealand and Australia. It found that almost six out of 10 New Zealand employees were either actively or passively looking for a new job. Higher pay was the main motivating factor, followed by the search for a more interesting role and a better workplace culture.

With business confidence rising and unemployment on the decline, the report found employers faced a real risk of losing key staff if they did not take steps to retain them.

Roman Rogers, executive general manager of Hudson New Zealand, said businesses were facing a potential triple-cost threat from a disengaged workforce, losing key talent, and replacing staff.

"With employees feeling restless and the labour market tightening, the time is now for organisations to act," he said.

Rogers said nearly two-thirds of employers believed they would meet or exceed targets in the next six months, but that depended on having the right staff.

Seven out of 10 employers surveyed intended to increase base salaries by 2 per cent to 3 per cent, slightly higher than recent rate of inflation.

Rogers said employers have other options besides pay rises, as most people were seeking opportunities to advance their careers, skills and experiences.

While salary was the highest-ranked factor, workers were also keen on promotions, better professional development, flexible work hours and more leave. The most-attractive package benefits were mostly money-related, including bonuses, superannuation and health insurance.

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