What LinkedIn’s most desired employers all have in common

Angus Kidman 24 June 2016

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What binds the 25 Australian companies that do the best job at keeping their staff happy?

Each year, business social network LinkedIn ranks what it calls "top attractors": the companies which do the best job of attracting and retaining talented workers. Here are the top 25 companies for Australia, along with the number of employees that organisation has:

RankCompanyEmployees
1KPMG174,000
2PwC6,000 (AU)
3Commonwealth Bank52,000
4Coles100,000
5Deloitte225,000
6Westpac40,000
7Qantas Airways31,000
8Lion6,700
9UGL Limited7,000
10CPB Contractors18,000
11Origin Energy6,000
12Virgin Australia9,400
13Downer19,000
14Telstra35,000
15Macquarie Group14,000
16Bupa18,000
17REA Group1,400
18Bank of Queensland2,000
19Vodafone3,000
20Medibank2,600
21Lendlease11,900
22AMP5,400
23Suncorp Group14,500
24Woolworths190,000
25ANZ50,000

It's an interesting mix, with three of the Big Four banks, both major domestic airlines and the two biggest supermarket chains all jostling for spots. Consultancies and engineering firms are also prominent.

Looking at the comments these employers made to LinkedIn (which is being acquired by Microsoft right now) about their inclusion in the list highlights some common factors. They make sure they offer a flexible and friendly working environment, offering options such as variable work hours, the ability to contribute to community initiatives and a wide range of challenging projects. There are two evident trends looking at that list.

Firstly, bigger companies have more scope for flexibility. While LinkedIn didn't analyse any companies with less than 500 staff, the smallest number of employees in the top 25 is REA Group, with 1,400 workers. Scale evidently offers greater possibilities for staff to take on new challenges.

Secondly, the upper part of the list is dominated by consultancies, which have greater scope to measure staff performance based on defined outcomes rather than simply hours on the job, and which can also find it easier to offer flexible working arrangements as a result. That's not universally the case, of course; the presence of airlines on the list shows that even jobs with a very fixed roster can be satisfying.

We shouldn't pretend that basics such as remuneration aren't important as well. No-one wants to be impoverished. Australian salaries are still growing, but right now that's happening at a much slower rate. But assuming you're being paid decently, those non-financial benefits can make a big difference when you're deciding whether to stay put or look for another role.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.

Picture: drpnncpptak / Shutterstock.com

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