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The Battle For Talent: What Additional Benefits Are On Offer

By Sophie Richards on 14 October 2020

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Key points:

  • There’s an increasing focus on employee value proposition (EVP) within the defence industry
  • EVP is an important factor in employee satisfaction
  • There are differing EVP priorities during attraction and retention phases

Securing top defence industry talent can be expected to become increasingly competitive under the Federal Government’s new $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy, aimed at driving Australia’s COVID economic recovery.

The strategy, which aims to make Australian manufacturers more competitive, resilient and able to scale-up to take on the world, has identified six key manufacturing priorities, with a focus on skilled design and engineering workers, through to sales, marketing and after-sale services.

The defence industry has been named as one of the six manufacturing target areas set for increased investment, business activity and job growth.

The manufacturing plan has been welcomed by major companies in the defence sector, which as an industry is already undergoing unprecedented peace-time growth.

EVP and talent

So what are defence companies across the industry currently doing to attract top talent in the increasingly competitive market place?

Our Kinexus Defence Industry Insights – Seventh Edition shows the defence industry is already entering a phase of strong hiring activity, with more than 3,000 new jobs set to be created in the next 12 months.

Those figures are likely to further increase under the Government’s manufacturing plan.

The Defence Industry Insights shows that while the rate of increase in salaries has slowed, employers have a growing focus on employee value proposition (EVP) - offering valuable benefits to attract and retain the best talent.

There has been a considerable decrease in the number of respondents who do not receive any additional benefits; falling from 42% in 2019 to 32% in 2020. 

Further education support increased from 2% to 13% over the last 12 months.

In the graph below we can see the types of additional benefits, if any, our workforce survey respondents currently receive.

Attraction vs retention

Kinexus industry survey research of defence-skilled candidates shows that there are different non-monetary priorities at play when comparing job attraction to job retention.

Research shows a flexible work arrangement is the number one factor in terms of attracting a candidate to an organisation, while culture is the next highest priority.

However, in terms of retention, it’s reversed, with culture being the number one priority, ahead of flexible work arrangements in second position.

Working from home was the third highest factor when attracting a candidate, while in the retention phase the third most important factor was interesting work.

Kinexus industry survey research shows as a whole, bonuses and salary sacrificing are the most common additional benefits received by defence-skilled candidates in their current role, coming in at 26% and 21% respectively.

13% of total respondents said they receive further education support or funding, while six percent of total respondents indicated they received more than statutory holidays days off.

Other additional benefits our survey respondents receive include profit share, insurances (health/income), extra super contributions, car allowance/mileage, and rental assistance.

In this graph we can see the top four additional benefits received broken down by age bracket.

While this graph breaks down four additional benefits by location.

EVP and job satisfaction

The Defence Industry Insights – Seventh Edition suggests strong additional benefits as part of an EVP strategy can be an important factor in ensuring overall employee satisfaction.

The next graph provides crucial insights into what drives job satisfaction among workers in the defence industry. Unchanged from the 2019 survey results, it shows that interesting work and work life balance remain more important than remuneration among those surveyed.

We asked, “What has the most impact on your job satisfaction?”

In-demand skill sets 

The Defence Industry Insights indicates 2020 and 2021 will see strong demand for the vast majority of defence industry skill sets.

The list below provides a snapshot of skill sets that will be particularly sought after. 

Adjacent industries compete for top talent

Competition for top talent is likely to be further compounded by demand from a number of adjacent industries, which have also been identified as key priorities in the Government’s manufacturing plan.

The technology and mining sectors, which have significant skills overlap with the defence industry, are likely to also be competing for top level talent to meet increased demand.

Ensure your organisation can compete 

As competition for top quality defence industry talent intensifies, what does your company need to offer in order to stand out?

As a team, Kinexus has more than 30,000 conversations with people working in the defence sector every year, so we know what the premium talent is looking for when they consider a potential role in the industry.

It’s important your organisation has the right EVP strategy to attract and retain the best employees possible to help grow your business.

Reach out and speak to our expert consultants to ensure your company is well placed to capitalise on the future business growth opportunities within the Australian defence industry.

You can also read more of our expert insights by downloading the complete Defence Industry Insights - Seventh Edition here.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

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