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COVID-19 Alters Jobseekers’ Priorities: Job Security Is Key To 71%

71 per cent of jobseekers say job security is far more important to them since the outbreak of COVID-19, according to a survey by recruiting experts Hays.

Wellbeing & mental health support is also deemed to be more important now to 61 per cent, followed by regular and transparent communication from employers (60 per cent).

With a significant percentage of people now exposed to remote working, the survey also highlights the growing importance of finding an employer who offers access to online collaboration and communication tools (which is more important to 58 per cent of professionals), trusts their staff (also 58 per cent), provides work-life balance (57 per cent) and offers regular remote working (55 per cent).

These rated well ahead of the salary on offer, which just 37 per cent now consider to be more important.

In addition, the survey revealed that almost half (49 per cent) of skilled professionals feel less positive about their career in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the importance to professionals of working in a secure job,” says Adam Shapley, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

“This crisis has upended the professional lives of many and the shock brought on by rapid change and uncertainty has been unsettling. However, confidence will return. Indeed, as we have seen, employers are already returning to growth. In time, competition for the top talent will heat up once more and careers will progress again with certainty.

“For employers, these findings point to the main drivers of your post-COVID-19 attraction and retention strategy. After all, retaining top talent has always been of strategic importance, however it will need to become even more of a priority if organisations are to engage and retain their best people to return to growth as quickly as possible.”

Hays’s survey was conducted in August 2020 and was completed by 4,105 people. Of these, 966 responded as employers and 3,139 were working professionals. The full results can be found in the new Hays Barometer Report, available at

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