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Hiring Advice Attracting candidates Work-life balance: What do people really want?
Work-life balance: What do people really want?

Work-life balance: What do people really want?

Malaysians care about work-life balance. But what does that really mean?

Work-life balance is a primary consideration for workers. According to Jobstreet by SEEK's Hiring, Compensation, and Benefits Report 2024, Malaysians ranked the lack of work-life balance second in their list of top deal breakers when signing or staying at a job. This result is unsurprising, given people's working experiences in the past few years.

Work-life balance encompasses a range of factors. Malaysians believe they can achieve better synergy between their personal and professional lives with flexible working hours, remote work capabilities, and mental health days. Based on SEEK's survey on job benefits, the demand for free snacks or drinks in the office, casual wear in the workplace, and early leave on festive days also saw an uptick.

Hirers must also be able to weigh between what their talent wants and what the industry or role requires. For example, the ability to work remotely is more important to workers in the Accounting industry, whereas time in lieu is more important to workers in Hospitality & Tourism.

Focus on what jobseekers want

Making sure that what your company offers jobseekers will meet their needs can mean you get better quality candidates and are more likely to retain good staff.

So, if you're still in the recruitment process, clearly mentioning the most salient, relevant work-life balance factors in your job ads can make the role more attractive to people. Your bullet points and summary must address the perks that workers in your industry care about most.

For example, if remote working arrangements appeal to people in your industry, show how your company supports location-independent talent. If you are in the culinary field, perhaps highlighting how your restaurant offers more paid time off during non-peak days can set you apart.

Aimee Hutton, Head of Customer Insights and Strategy at SEEK, says job ads are an unmissable opportunity to demonstrate your empathy and understanding of what people really want. “It’s like showing candidates that you speak their language – you know what’s important to them and here’s how you can make it happen,” she adds.

Salary is also important

Besides work-life balance, salary is another motivator for jobseekers when searching for a new role. In fact, Malaysia's Hiring, Compensation, and Benefits Report states that financial compensation is the top dealbreaker when attracting and retaining talent. SEEK data also shows a 43.4% increase in job applications when you reveal the salary in your job ad.

Proper pay is not about maximising your workers' productivity. Don't justify overwork with a high salary. Reasonable and appropriate remuneration offers your workers security and comfort and empowers them to enjoy their days off better. Check our latest Salary Guide to find out if your pay packages match industry benchmarks.

Implement out-of-the-box policies to encourage balance

You can be creative about your perks if your company's bottom line can't accommodate better pay or more time off. As mentioned earlier, Malaysian employers have begun offering complimentary refreshments and introducing a more relaxed work culture. More and more organisations have also started arranging non-work-related activities, such as interest-based classes or trips, for their employees.

If your budget allows, perhaps you can offer childcare services for workers with family or gym memberships.

Enforce a culture of well-roundedness

Work-life balance isn't just a token term you use to sustain your team. Try to embed it into your company's DNA. For instance, you can encourage it by reminding your team to use their holiday leave or logging off on time. As a manager, you can also avoid sending messages after work hours or during days off and set reasonable deadlines. Promote productivity instead of long hours.

Company leaders must also set the pace for this culture. Your team would be more comfortable taking holidays or clocking off early if they see you're not burning both ends of the candle yourself. Ultimately, when managers and leaders lead by example, it creates a ripple effect throughout the organisation and leads to happier, more engaged, and more engaged employees.

There are many ways you can implement well-roundedness in your company. Determining which work-life balance benefits to introduce to your team involves understanding their needs, preferences, and your organisation's dynamics. Remember to ask your colleagues what would make them more effective and happy. Assess your policies regularly and develop solutions tailored to your circumstances.

Understanding what’s most likely to attract people to a role in your industry can help you fine-tune your message and hire more effectively.

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