When job seekers evaluate a company's employee value proposition, they look at whether its behaviour is in line with its publicly claimed values - and the top factor they look at is whether the company's been paying its taxes.
According to the third Purpose Premium study conducted by Porter Novelli and Quantum Market Research, Australians increasingly want companies to walk the talk: 91 percent of those surveyed said they expect companies to operate in a way that “aligns with their claimed purpose in society", and 82 percent are ready to leave a company that doesn't meet this standard.
It's not an empty threat, either. 58 percent of those surveyed have already left a job because what the company did ran counter to what it said its values were. While the survey didn't deep dive into just what those employers did to alienate their employees, it does rank the top key factors that Australians today take into account when deciding whether to apply for a job:
- 46 percent look at whether the company is paying its fair share of taxes
- 39 percent look at its environmental impact
- 33 percent look at the length of their commute if they accept the job
- 32 percent look at whether the offered pay is higher than the market average
If the emphasis on taxes stands out, it's because tax evasion is costing Australia billions every year. Data from the Australian Taxation Office suggests that as many as a third of large companies operating in Australia, many of them foreign multinationals and publicly listed companies, have managed to evade taxes so completely that their pre-pandemic tax bill was zero. So, given the opportunity to avoid irresponsible and unscrupulous employers, it's not surprising that job seekers are putting their source of income where their morals are.
“The message is clear. Purpose matters, and each year, it becomes more of an opportunity for employers as well as brands. In a talent market like this, employees can and will leave if a company deviates from its stated Purpose. You must walk your talk, or your people will just walk,” said Rhys Ryan, Managing Director of Porter Novelli Australia.
And companies had better walk it convincingly, because the study also found that 57 percent of Australians either don't trust brands' claims about the veracity of their purpose, or can't even tell whether those claims are trustworthy or not. Perhaps, a good place to start might be by making sure they're not among the crowd of tax evaders that regulators are closing in on.