Executive Monitor – Understanding the Behaviour and Intention of Executives in Australia


Three months ago we embarked on a study to better understand the behaviour of executives in Australia. The results from the study, involving 1332 executives across Australia, can be downloaded here.

The study offered many insights but also raised new questions,a nd many of the findings merit further exploration. In the coming days, I will explore in greater detail many of the topics covered in the report. Without doubt this report is a first step in a journey of discovery. For now, it is my hope that the findings will trigger discussion within organisations on how they recruit, engage and manage executive talent.

Let me know what you think.

Listed below are a few of the findings from the report.

  1. Job Search Channels: While a wide range of channels are used to find jobs, a majority 23.2% of executives credited recruitment firms for delivering their last job. Who you know matters; 22.3% found their new job through personal contacts and networking. Referrals worked for 20% and cold calling delivered jobs to 1.1%.
  2. Love-Hate Relationship With Recruiters: Illustrating the ubiquity of recruitment firms in the Australian employment market, a majority 64% of executives have found a job at least once in their career using their service. However, 33% have negative opinions, and only 18.66% considered recruitment firms to be effective.
  3. Online Channels: Job boards delivered new jobs to 11.6% of executives. The three-way nexus between executives, recruiters and job boards is unlikely to change; a large 67% intended to use job boards in the next twelve months. Employers’ websites delivered new jobs to 3.2% of executives.
  4. Social Networks & Media: Online social networks are relatively new with only a small 0.8% using the medium to successfully find a job. 35% plan to use social networks to look for a job; 28% were still sitting on the fence, while 37% planned to bypass them altogether.
  5. Job Search Triggers: The majority (30%) started a job search because of financial considerations, while career (23%) and lifestyle (19%) considerations were also important triggers to start a job search.
  6. Show Me The Money: A majority 87% thought pay should be increased every year. Only a small minority (7%) were willing to wait up to two years. A pay rise of 6-10% with a current employer was considered fair by 54% of executives. In contrast, 71% would expect pay rises of 11% or more from new employers.
  7. What Causes Pay Rise: Pay rise is intricately related to performance. A majority 53% received a pay hike as a result of performance; 20% by changing employers. Male executives tend to be rewarded more for performance, while females are more likely to get their pay rise by changing employers or jobs.
  8. Importance of Remuneration: Salary influences motivation of an executive and dictates how opinion and decisions on employers are made; 68% of executives believed remuneration package is a strong motivator in doing a job effectively. The majority (79%) thought remuneration packages are an important factor in choosing a future employer.
  9. Happy with Employer, But Vigilant: In general executives were satisfied (55%) with their current employer, yet there is little loyalty; 77% of executives were ready to leave their current employer if a new and better opportunity came along, a much higher number than the 24% who are not satisfied with employers.
  10. Expectation from Employers: Reality of work life often contrasted with executives’ views of an ideal employer. Work-life balance is valued by a majority 27%, but when it comes to actually changing jobs only 19% make a move on lifestyle and work-life considerations; financial (30%) and career concerns (23%) take precedence.
  11. Short Work Tenure: Executives in Australia, on average, have worked for eight different employers since joining the workforce. Tenure with an employer is generally short. A majority 72% of executives have been working with their current employer for less than five years. Only 18.5% have work tenures between 5-10 years with their current employer.
  12. Correlation Between Education & Remuneration: A correlation exists between education level attained and salary levels of executives. A majority 67% of those who earn $500,000 and above have a Master’s degree while only 34% of those who earn less than $100,000 have similar qualifications.
  13. Location & Mobility: A majority 48% were willing to relocate overseas, while 30% will consider the option if an opportunity arises. Similar sentiments were displayed for relocating locally. A significant 14% of executives started job searches solely on location considerations.
  14. Brand Me: Executives accept responsibility for their own career trajectory. The vast majority (90%) thought it important to promote and develop their personal brand instead of the employer’s. This desire is more pronounced amongst those in full-time roles (83%) than contractors (14%).
  15. Confidence: The majority of executives (60%) were confident they could find a job within three months. Only 6% were not confident of finding a job. Given that the recruitment lifecycle for executives is longer than other job groups, it highlights the confidence executives enjoy.

I am deeply indebted to our sponsors – Peerlo, Australian Institute of Management (AIM QLD/NT); Graduate College of Management, Southern Cross University; and Dutton Direct – without whose support this study would not exist.

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] seems that many people consider consultants a necessary evil. Research last year from Destination Talent showed that 64% of executives have found a job at least once in their career using a recruitment […]

  2. […] gives a great run down on the key findings on his site, so go read them there as I do not plan to reproduce them here. Instead I wanted to look at what […]

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