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Sad new reality in Aussie workforce

Australian workers are increasingly looking for job security above all else, as redundancies and business collapses become the norm. Picture: NCA Newswire /Gaye Gerard

Australian employees are becoming increasingly cautious and unwilling to risk the open job market for better pay, a new survey has revealed, as job cut fears envelop the workplace and the country shifts to an “employer’s market”.

Talent company Randstad surveyed 6,105 Australian workers to find the country’s most desired employers on criteria ranging from job security to work-life balance, and found stability in employment was a key metric of workplace happiness for 56 per cent of employees.

Redundancy fears are stopping employees from searching for better pay, the report states, with 67 per cent of respondents stating they would not consider searching for better pay elsewhere.


Randstad professional talent solutions director Jo Jakobs said she was not surprised to see employees shift to a risk-adverse posture.

“While we know from our research that a decent salary is one of the top motivators for 59 per cent of Aussie workers, it’s not surprising, given daily headlines about redundancies, that Aussies are feeling too risk averse to seek new employment to secure better pay,” she said.

The Randstad survey shows Australian employees value job stability as redundancies sweep through the country. This week, telecommunications giant Telstra announced it would cut 2800 jobs. Picture: NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

“Employers are in a tight spot, with employees putting the pressure on to improve pay to help with the cost of living, yet needing to balance those demands with the reality of keeping their businesses viable in an uncertain economic climate.”

Major job cuts have hit the country in recent months, with telecommunications giant Telstra announcing a brutal 2800 employee cull this week, and the national unemployment rate is expected to rise across the year into 2025.

The survey shows some 44 per cent of workers are worried about losing their job, up from 27 per cent in 2023.

And 19 per cent of workers, or roughly 2.6 million people – have or are considering taking on a second role or increasing their hours with their current employer to beat back rising cost-of-living pressures.

The number is especially high for Gen Z workers at 32 per cent.

Airline giant Virgin Airways is tipped as one of the best employers to work for in 2024, according to Randstad. Picture: NewsWire / Nikki Short

“For the one in five who are prepared to make a move, it’s important your CV stands out from the crowd,” Ms Jakobs said.

“Bear in mind that a lot of businesses are adopting a skills-based hiring approach, focusing less on past experience and more on the skills required to do the job.

“So, employees must figure out what makes their skill set special and how to best define their personal brand in this context.

“If a move isn’t on the cards, embracing upskilling opportunities to sharpen adaptability, communication, and problem-solving, will set all employees in good stead to embrace new opportunities when the time is right.”

Data from Seek also shows Australia has shifted to an “employers’ market” as competition heats up for a reduced pool of positions.

1. Deloitte

2. IAG Australia

3. NSW Department of Communities and Justice

4. Virgin Australia

5. G8 Education

6. Australia Post

7. NSW Transport

8. NSW Health

9. Healthscope

10. Queensland Government

Source: Randstad

National job ads have declined 18.6 per cent from April 2023 to April this year, the job matching company states, while applications per job ad have lifted 8.6 per cent from March to April.

The IT industry has suffered the largest fall in year-on-year job ads, falling 33.4 per cent.

Consulting giant Deloitte took out the top spot for Randstad’s best employers list, beating out 74 other large-scale employers.

After Deloitte, IAG Australia and the NSW Department of Communities and Justice take out the silver and bronze spots, followed by airline behemoth Virgin in fourth spot, and then G8 Education, Australia Post, Transport for NSW, NSW Health, Healthscope and the Queensland Government.

Deloitte moved up 38 places from 2023 to nab the top spot.