New Survey Finds Honesty Really Is the Best Policy for Companies Looking to Attract More Workers

2014 Employer Branding Study by Randstad US Uncovers Top Personality Traits, Job Aspects Today’s Workers Look for in Potential Employer

ATLANTA, June 10, 2014 — As the economic environment improves and more employment prospects arise for U.S. workers, a company’s ability to attract talent may hinge not only on its job offer, but also on its “personality.” A 2014 Employer Branding Study released today by Randstad US uncovers which personality traits candidates look for when choosing an employer, as well as which key job aspects are most attractive to workers.

Finding the Right Employer Personality
The Randstad study reveals the majority of workers (78 percent) look for an employer that is—first and foremost—honest. Also significant to job hunters is finding an employer that is reliable (71 percent), secure (62 percent) and well-respected (51 percent). Survey respondents rated the least critical personality traits as being whether a company is daring (6 percent), robust (6 percent) or masculine (4 percent).  

“This is the first time the Randstad Employer Branding Study has measured personality traits important to prospective employees, and it’s extremely valuable for employers to know honesty holds such high importance,” said Jim Link, Chief HR Officer, Randstad North America. “Leading organizations understand a strong employer brand creates an important advantage for attracting today’s best talent, so identification of the top attributes wanted in a company allows leaders to refine their brand strategy.” 

The study also found that beyond basic factors such as salary and benefits, workers’ evaluate employment options based on the prospect of long-term job security (55 percent), a pleasant working atmosphere (49 percent) and good work/life balance (43 percent). Lower-rating criteria include whether a company uses the latest technologies (9 percent), is concerned with the environment and society (9 percent) or offers international/global career opportunities (7 percent). 

Workers Identify Causes of Work/Life Imbalance
Even though employees named work/life balance as a top criterion for employer selection, most continue to struggle with maintaining a healthy balance between home and work life. According to the Randstad study, employees rated the factors that most threaten a balanced work culture as being a bad working environment (49 percent), poor cooperation with colleagues (44 percent) and a lack of support to meet deadlines (42 percent). 

Additionally, the concept of work/life balance highly influences why workers remain with their current employers. When asked what would motivate them to work more years for their company, employees named “a more relaxed work schedule” as the top motivator, and “the possibility to adapt work hours” ranked third. Women more often see their work/life balance put at risk by long work days, while men cite too many deadlines.  

“Shortages of highly skilled workers are heating up talent wars across many industries,” said Link. “Any competitive edge that facilitates the acquisition of top talent directly impacts the bottom line, which validates the importance of an intentional and effective employer brand. Employers can create these advantages not only by promoting softer brand attributes such as honesty and reliability, but also by moving the dial on the daily nuts-and-bolts issues impacting workers, such as maintaining a pleasant work environment and offering a true culture that balances work and life commitments.” 

For more information and resources on employer branding, visit

Survey Methodology
Randstad’s Employer Branding survey is based on perceived attractiveness of companies among 11,549 potential employees between the ages of 18 and 65. Interviews were conducted online by ICMA Group on behalf of Randstad between November and December 2013.

Samples are based on national demographics with a slight emphasis on respondents aged below 40, as potential jobseekers, or those most likely to be in the job market, are the target audience of the survey. Each sample is representative of age, region, gender and education.

Respondents are invited by means of online interviews to select the companies they know from a random list; each company is set to appear approximately 1,500 times at random during the entire survey.

The margin of error on a sample of 1,500 is plus or minus 1.245 percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence. This means that there is a 95 percent chance that the responses of the target population as a whole would fall somewhere between 1.245 percent more or 1.245 percent less than the responses of the sample (confidence interval of 2.49 percent on the worst case percentage of 50 percent).

About Randstad
Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $22.0 billion global provider of HR services. As the third largest staffing organization in the U.S., Randstad holds top positions in permanent placement, office and administrative, IT and accounting and finance. From professional services, commercial staffing, recruitment process outsourcing, to managed services and more, Randstad delivers a comprehensive range of temporary, temporary-to-hire, permanent placement and outsourced placement services. With its 5,324 employment experts, Randstad puts an average of approximately 100,000 people to work in the U.S. each week, through its network of nearly 1,000 branches and client-dedicated locations.

Learn more at and access Randstad’s panoramic U.S. thought leadership knowledge center through its Workforce360 site that offers valuable insight into the latest economic indicators and HR trends shaping the world of work.