The number of workers in Australia actively looking for a new job has dropped for the first time in three quarters, a new study says.
Research firm Gartner recently polled 855 employees as part of its Global Labor Market Survey. The company found that the number of workers in active job search has decreased to 17% in the second quarter of 2022. While the figure is only slightly lower compared to the 18% in 1Q22, it is the first time it has happened in three quarters.
Meanwhile, the number of employees passively searching for new work increased to 57% in 2Q22 from 55% the prior quarter. Passive job search involves updating CVs or thinking about switching employers.
Workers are also more optimistic about their future despite the country’s recent economic struggles. According to the study, people’s confidence in job availability increased to 56% in the second quarter compared to 54% in the first.
How workers choose employers
The Gartner report also looked at the potential drivers of employee attraction and attrition in Australia. Workers named location as the number one reason why workers would choose an employer for the second straight quarter. This was followed by respect and compensation.
On the other hand, respondents said the quality of the manager is their top reason for not choosing a company. Respect and people management rounded out the top three drivers of attrition.
Gartner VP for Research and Advisory Aaron McEwan believes employers in Australia are beginning to listen and respond to their workers’ needs.
“Employees have just spent the past two and a half years working hard to support their organizations through challenging times,” McEwan said.
“As we start getting used to the new world of work, workers have created their own personal boundaries and employers are increasingly respecting that.”
Challenges for employers
McEwan also identified two key challenges that employers could face over the next few months. The first is that they need to maintain engagement among their fatigued workers, and the second is to manage the impact of redundancies potentially caused by the economy.
The Gartner study found that the number of workers showing high discretionary effort, or those willing to go above and beyond at work, dropped to 15% in 2Q22 compared to 17% in 1Q22.
“Organizations should be proud of the work they’ve done, particularly when it comes to the flexibility they’ve given to their employees,” McEwan said.
“However, given the possibility of a recession and potential redundancies or cuts, taking a step back would be a mistake.”
Gartner recommends companies should follow a more human-centric management approach to handle their productivity or downsizing requirements.