Randstad Canada

Randstad Canada

October 17, 2006 10:49 ET

Randstad/An Employees' Market: Employers Must be Adaptable to Priorities of Each Age Range to Retain Talent

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 17, 2006) - The mass exodus of retiring Baby Boomers may be a few years off, but the job renunciation trend is building. A new study commissioned by Randstad North America, and conducted by Harris Interactive, shows that one-sixth of employees are thinking of changing jobs heading into 2007. In an increasingly labour-tight market, companies will need to understand what fuels employee satisfaction and take measures to attract and retain the best of the best.

Statistics Canada for some time has pegged overall Canadian unemployment rates at a relatively steady and low 6.4%. The OECD Employment Outlook 2005 indicates Canada has one of the lowest rates of individuals who have been jobless for more than a year (9.5%).

"Employees have greater confidence that they will be able to find a job that's right for them, which has not been the case for many years," said Linda Galipeau, managing director of operations for Randstad Canada, a subsidiary of the world's third largest employment services provider. Randstad specializes in melding the many variables surrounding job, employee and company needs to make the best matches between job-seekers and employers. To that end, the company conducts research to support its recommendations.

What Makes a Good Job

The Randstad survey queried nearly 2,000 employees and 1,764 employers across North America. It found that having satisfying work was just as important as earning a competitive wage and job security, with 72% of employees replying saying these three factors (ex-aequo) were the leading considerations that keep them on the job. Rounding out the Top Five were attractive benefit packages (71%) and pleasant working conditions (70%).

In general, employees also placed far higher value on flexibility, bonuses and other recognition programs than the employers surveyed. For instance, 72% of employees said they would like a slice of their company's profits in the form of a bonus or other reward, while only 50% of employers felt this would be of importance.

What I Really, Really Want

The Randstad survey also confirmed some significant generational differences.

- Often misunderstood, Generation Y (20-to-26 years old) emerges as surprisingly pragmatic and ambitious. Employee award/recognition programs rank more highly with them than with any other generation (73%). As a company's youngest members, they may be seeking some tangible recognition of their value to an organization.

- Generation X (27-to-41) values flexible work hours most (76%), reflecting the need to juggle work and home life as they purchase new homes and build families.

- Boomers (42-to-60), hitting the home stretch to retirement, rated bonuses based on company performance and stock/profit sharing plans as most important (74%).

- Mature workers (61+) agreed with Boomers about what was most important, and were among the least interested in flexible work hours (57%).

"Most of those looking to jump ship in the coming year most likely will be from the ranks of middle management or core staff members," noted Galipeau. Those in the Gen Y bracket (20-to-26 years of age) are generally still in entry-level positions. Mature workers are on the brink of retirement anyway. Baby boomers and Gen Xers, the majority of most workforces, show the greatest dissatisfaction rates, in particular with such factors as workload, compensation and opportunities to learn new things, according to those surveyed.

Workplace culture is changing, with the pendulum of power shifting back in favour of job-seekers and employees. Their employers need to invest time and resources in finding out just what makes them tick - as individuals and according to their generation - and how to keep them. "The power shift is clearly underway," said Galipeau. "Talented employees are highly sought after. Employers need to be more sensitive to what is actually required to attract, retain and encourage talent."

About Randstad Canada

Headquartered in Montreal, Qc., Randstad Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $9.3 billion provider of professional employment services and the third largest staffing organization in the world, with over 2,400 offices in 20 countries across Europe, North America and Asia. Randstad's core business is the well-timed matching of demand by individuals for challenging and rewarding work and the demand of companies and organizations for suitable personnel of the right skills and experience. Randstad's mission is to establish industry leadership in matching demand and supply in the employment market.

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