Aussie candidates look for choice

By Kate Southam

Despite the tight labour market, more than a third of white-collar professional candidates weigh up more than one job offer before deciding on a new career move.

According to recruitment firm Robert Walters, more than 38 per cent of candidates in Australia receive two job offers before they accept a new role – the best result globally.

South Africans and candidates in the US also look for two roles before making a decision while professionals from the United Kingdom, Singapore, New Zealand and

Switzerland say they take the first job offered. However, market conditions don’t seem to matter when it comes to hanging out for more than one option before changing jobs.

Robert Walters found that a quarter of professionals in France, where unemployment is at a 12-year high, want three choices before accepting a new role.

Overall, 36 per cent of candidates overseas accept a role after only a single offer, 32 per cent after two offers 17 per cent after three offers, five per cent after four offers and a very optimistic 10 per cent claiming they wait for five or more offers.

*The latest unemployment rates in each country surveyed as of  February unless otherwise stated were: Australia 5.2 per cent; UK, 8.4 per cent, Singapore, two per cent (4th quarter 2011, 14 year low), New Zealand, 6.5 per cent March quarter, South Africa, 23.9 per cent, France, 10 per cent (Jan rate and a 12-year high), the US 8.3 per cent and Switzerland, 3.4 per cent.

The Managing Director of Robert Walters in Australia James Nicholson says the results show Aussies are “unfazed by negative market sentiments”.

“In the face of ‘doom and gloom’ economic reports there is still an overriding optimism, and willingness to wait for the right offer,” Mr Nicholson says.

“This is a strong indicator that the market will survive the downturn, as it did the last one.”

*Sources used by CareerOne for unemployment rates in order of country mentioned: Australian Bureau of Statistics; BBC, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower; New Zealand’s Household Labour Force Survey, Bloomberg, Eurostat, US Bureau of Labour Statistics and Eurostat., March 2012

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