Kiwi job change in world's highest

By Jessica McAllen

Ashleigh Thomas is happy working in a small cafe after leaving a promotions job.
Ashleigh Thomas is happy working in a small cafe after leaving a promotions job.

New Zealand has one of the highest job turnover rates but experts say this shows people are willing to take job risks in a recovering economy.

According to the Kelly Global Workforce Index, New Zealand had the fifth-highest number of people changing jobs in the past year out of 31 countries, with 55 per cent of Kiwis surveyed saying they had switched employers.

A further 30 per cent were also considering ditching their workplace and only 14 per cent were completely happy with their job.

Respondents cited opportunities for personal growth and advancement as the main reason for leaving their job - only 11 per cent had changed for better pay.

Another important factor was company culture and reputation, 30 per cent saying they would recommend working at a company to a friend if it ticked those boxes.

The survey, commissioned by recruitment agency Kelly Services, canvassed more than 120,000 people including 3500 New Zealanders.

David Lowe of the Employers and Manufacturers Association NZ saw the results as positive. "For several years the labour market has been slow to move so people ... didn't want to risk their secure income.

"But now [they] can go out and get the jobs they want. Humans develop and want to be challenged and I see an increase in job turnover as a sign people are moving on and the economy is recovering."

He said to retain workers employers should focus on acknowledging individuals and in recent years companies had introduced unorthodox workplaces in the hope of boosting staff morale.

An example was Google which aims to "create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world", putting play areas and walls to scribble on in offices.

"That works for a certain type of person but a manufacturing plant in Taumarunui having bean-bags probably won't be that important to the workers there," said Mr Lowe.

Professor of human resource development at the University of Auckland, Nigel Haworth, said New Zealand was moving towards a high-performance workplace model "Giving employees greater skills, responsibilities and independence leads to higher wages, and they will be more likely to stay in their job."

Professor Haworth attributed the high turnover to the number of small businesses in New Zealand and a skills shortage.

"Small companies don't have a lot of prospects for workers. They have nowhere to really go so employees leave to get promotions with larger companies and go upwards."

We also have a skills shortage in New Zealand so if people have a skill in high demand they're likely to take advantage of that," said Professor Haworth, who added that a worker's satisfaction is important for a company's reputation.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment figures released yesterday showed online job vacancies increased more than 6 per cent in the last year.

Perks make return to hospitality work enjoyable

Ashleigh Thomas has had three jobs this year, as well as volunteering at a student radio station for the past 19 months.

She started the year waitressing at a restaurant, worked in radio promotions for five months and has been a barista at a cafe for four months.

"Restaurant jobs can get boring and you get to the stage where it is not challenging," she said of her move to radio promotions.

But she had to leave that job because of a conflict of interest with her student radio station and now is back in the hospitality industry.

Despite the lack of challenge, she said she was happy at the small cafe, where open communication allowed for smooth interaction between staff and management.

Small benefits such as free food and coffee were also reasons Ms Thomas spoke highly of her current employer. She rated environment over pay because it was workmates that made a job worthwhile.

"If you are getting paid a large amount but your workmates are horrible it's not much consolation."

Five tips to land dream job

Tips from Garry Collier, owner and partner at EDGE Recruitment with 30 years' experience in the field

* Be prepared: Research a company and the job you're going for, make sure you understand if the opportunity is right for you.

* Interview well: Be well presented, it is your opportunity to sell yourself and show them what you can bring to the table. Interview tactics have evolved, and employers are likely to ask questions relating to situations you have been in, as well as the skills and experience you have.

* Ask questions: People want to know about you, but they also want to know you are interested.

* Close the deal: Find out how you did and what the next step is, ask if they need more information from you and when you can expect to hear back.

* Seek opportunities: Jobs are advertised in a variety of places across a range of mediums. Look everywhere and make yourself available on sites such as LinkedIn, as well as following companies you want to work for through their own websites or publications.

- NZ Herald

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