Survey Highlights Key Factors Influencing Career Choices
Career Zoo releases survey findings; announces details of 20th February event
Despite a range of tempting perks offered by employers to attract talent, salary and the likelihood of promotion are the top two factors influencing career choices, according to a Career Zoo survey released today (09.02.16).
Career Zoo is Ireland’s leading technology and recruitment event, taking place twice each year at The Convention Centre Dublin and attracting 8,000 attendees each time. The next Career Zoo takes place on Saturday, 20th February.
In advance of the next event, Career Zoo surveyed workers in Ireland about their career plans and preferences, receiving over 1,600 responses. The survey findings show that:
- Almost 90 per cent of respondents believe they will change jobs at least every five years for the remainder of their careers.
- 70 per cent of respondents are planning to change jobs this year.
- Respondents rate salary, promotion opportunities and an employer’s reputation and corporate culture as the three most important factors to consider when looking for a new job.
- Reasonable working hours and a good work / life balance is considered the most important factor in creating a positive working environment.
- Demand for flexible work options – including remote working and flexible hours – continues to grow, with a large number of respondents saying flexibility could be the deciding factor when choosing between similar jobs.
Commenting on the survey findings, Jackie Slattery, Director of Career Zoo, said: “Our survey was targeted at high-skilled workers in the tech, finance, engineering and life sciences sectors. The majority of respondents have over 10 years’ work experience already.
“Because of their high level of skills and the current ‘war for talent’, they are very mobile, with many planning to change jobs this year or in the coming years. In effect, they hold all the power, and they can pick and choose who they want to work for.
“Employers have been reacting to the ‘war for talent’ by offering increased benefits, better workplaces, and perks ranging from unlimited leave to year-round free food. What’s really interesting about our survey findings, however, is that, despite the increased emphasis employers place on corporate social responsibility, social outings for staff, and awesome offices, it’s the old chestnuts of pay, promotion and a positive work / life balance that continue to determine people’s career choices.
“We frequently meet employers who boast the coolest premises in Dublin or the best social calendar for staff. But if they fail to get the basics right, they will continue to struggle to attract the right talent.”
Factors Determining Career Choices
Career Zoo’s survey respondents rated the importance of different factors when looking for a new job as follows:
- Career development opportunities / likelihood of promotion.
- Employer’s reputation and company culture.
- Availability of flexible work options (including remote working and flexible hours).
- Additional benefits (e.g. pension, health insurance, discounted gym membership).
- Job security.
- The opportunity to make a positive difference.
- Extra annual leave entitlements.
- Family-friendly policies.
- Opportunities to travel.
In relation to the factors that create a positive working environment, the survey respondents selected the following order of importance:
- Reasonable working hours (good work / life balance).
- Acknowledgement of / appreciation for work well done.
- Supportive and approachable management.
- Freedom to be innovative / work on your own initiative.
- Generous levels of paid annual leave (above your statutory entitlements).
- A physical workspace that’s attractive and enjoyable to work in.
- Having a similar outlook and goals to your colleagues.
- Respect / support for diversity.
- A commitment (on the part of your employer) to corporate social responsibility.
- Organised social activities (e.g. staff nights out).
“We hear a lot these days about how millennials are impacting on the world of work, and how they value responsible, ethical employers and opportunities to make a positive difference more than promotion prospects and traditional benefits, such as high levels of pay,” said Jackie Slattery. “Our survey findings show this isn’t always the case.
“Over 40 per cent of those who responded are under the age of 32, so they belong to the millennial generation. And, yet, the findings show that workplace and career expectations have not radically changed at all. At the end of the day, decent salaries and working conditions are what workers find most attractive. At the same time, it’s interesting to note that the third most important factor rated by people considering new career opportunities is an employer’s reputation and corporate culture.”
Career Zoo on 20th February
Ms. Slattery said Career Zoo’s event on 20th February will have a wide-ranging focus on the entire world of work, with panel discussions, workshops, and guest speakers addressing topics such as cyber security, big data, company culture, workplace trends and employee satisfaction.
The event will also see the return of the popular BioCluster (housing leading biopharma companies), Tech Town (showcasing exciting career opportunities with Irish tech employers), Coding Workshops, and a continued focus on Women in Tech and Finance 2.0.
The sponsors for Career Zoo on 20th February are: Bank of Ireland, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Etsy, IT’s Happening Here (Enterprise Ireland), MSD, New Relic, Pramerica, AOL, DAQRI, EY and PayPal. Admission to the event is free. To register, go to www.careerzoo.ie.