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John Lewis is the most attractive company to work for

Department store chain John Lewis was declared the winner, following a poll of almost 11,000 working age adults across the UK.  It narrowly won out against BMW and British Airways, which came in at second and third place respectively.

Money is the most important factor in moving jobs - but doesn’t stand alone

While research carried out by Randstad as part of the award showed that salary and employee benefits dominated the most important aspect of employment for respondents when looking for a job – money lead the way with 20% of respondents listing it as the single most important factor and 62% giving it a place in their top five – John Lewis’ attractiveness was based on a combination of long-term job security, a pleasant working atmosphere and a good work-life balance – the three categories most likely to appear in respondents’ top five motivating factors after monetary concerns.

Proportion of respondents

Salary and benefits

62%

Long-term security

54%

Pleasant working atmosphere

49%

Good work-life balance

45%

Interesting job content

44%

TABLE: TOP FIVE MOST IMPORTANT CRITERIA FOR JOB SELECTION

Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Randstad Business Support, whose specialisms include retail, comments, “They say money isn’t everything – and they’re right.  Financial gain is the hallmark of the key players in the Randstad Award, but ultimately not the alpha and omega of a desirable employer.  People don’t see a career at John Lewis as a place to earn investment banking money: they see it as a great place to work in a much more holistic sense, as an employer that meets their needs as people, not just as employees.

“Job security, a positive atmosphere, and a good work-life balance come together to provide an enviable lifestyle for many.  Working in recruitment, we’ve learned that money might be the most common driving factor for seeking new employment – but, for a lot of people, it simply can’t compensate for the slightly less tangible elements of a working environment.”

JOHN LEWIS APPEALS ACROSS THE AGES – BUT NOT THE GENDERS

The Award research also found that John Lewis was perceived to be the most attractive place to work by people aged 25-65 – but 18-24 year olds were keener on the generous salaries accompanying a life in professional services.  A fault line also appeared across the genders. Despite its victory, John Lewis didn’t make it into men’s top three employers, with the majority of men wanting to work for BMW.

Jacobs added, “In John Lewis we found an employer that appeals to people across forty years of working life, but the particular popularity amongst women is very telling.  John Lewis constantly consults colleagues and has been recognised for making working parents' lives easier.   Regarding flexibility, there are plenty of people who have joined John Lewis in one role, then changed direction, ascending the career ladder, taking a break and returning to a more flexible role that lets them balance their lifestyle. Increasing hours or securing a promotion at a pace that feels right for them.  That’s a very compelling proposition for a lot of women in retail.”

A CHALLENGING YEAR FOR RETAIL

Five out of the top ten companies in the 2015 Randstad Award are giants in the engineering and technology fields, while John Lewis was one of one retailer in the top five.  But in the 2014 award, two retailers occupied top slots. 

Jacobs concluded, “In this year’s award, John Lewis represents an island of retail excellence amid a sea of engineering and professional services brilliance.  Their unique Partnership structure puts employees right at the heart of their business – providing a model which other retailers struggle to equal.  But this award doesn’t just tell us about our top employers. 

"But although this year’s award is good news for John Lewis, it’s bad news for the retail sector as a whole.  When Napoleon described us as & lsquo;a nation of shopkeepers’, he didn’t mean it as a compliment.  And it seems that, the priorities of UK workers are changing.  Retailers need to wake up to that to make sure they continue to attract and retain top talent.”

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