Talent attraction and retention of skilled employees

Downer understands the importance of identifying, recruiting and developing outstanding people.

Our diversified business operations allow us to provide rich career development opportunities so employees can experience career growth.

Our focus on development opportunities is linked to retaining and developing our skilled workforce. Downer recognises that embracing difference fuels innovation and enables more informed decision making. This approach to diversity and inclusion reflects the customers and communities we serve while building a sustainable business.

This year Downer placed 12th in the LinkedIn Top Companies to work at survey. This achievement is a recognition of our success and commitment to attracting and retaining the best people.

Of Downer’s total workforce at our primary locations, Australia and New Zealand, 63 per cent of new hires were men and 37 per cent women.

As part of ongoing development and retention strategies we annually assess performance and people’s potential. This process allows us to create structured career development pathways and enables our people to seek development opportunities that support their career goals. This process is described below.

Identify, assess and
rank our talent –
and potential
strengths, needs,
Validate, test and
review management
bench strength
Validate and
champion career
development maps

Development pathways guide career goals as our employees progress in their career. Key pathways include mentoring and coaching, structured formal learning opportunities, on-the-job learning and secondments across the business.

While external talent recruitment is important, we continuously seek to develop talent from within the business. We do this by building and investing in people by supporting various and diverse career paths that:

  • Improve our line of sight on development needs and increase the bench strength of the leadership pipeline against internal talent
  • Identify talent gaps that can be filled utilising internal capability and skills
  • Identify opportunities for targeted development activities
  • Ensure we have the best talent engaged within and across the business.

We also ensure succession planning is in place to enable talent development and enhance delivery performance for our customers.

We ensure a robust remuneration and reward strategy that entices and attracts new talent and provides strong recognition of performance for existing talent to remain with Downer. Key factors which are incorporated into our remuneration and rewards system include:

  • Benchmarking positions utilising third party market data to provide a comparative analysis of our remuneration offering against industry
  • Utilising the outcomes of this benchmarking exercise to develop remuneration packages which attract and retain industry leading talent
  • Offering reward opportunities during employment that provide financial and/or team based recognition for employees who exhibit desired behaviours and/or deliver project outcomes
  • Offering short-term and long-term incentives where appropriate, with a focus on key roles.

The turnover of employees at Downer’s primary locations was less for women than men, with 17 per cent versus 24 per cent turnover respectively over the period.

All full time and part time employees at Downer’s major Australian and New Zealand sites receive the same benefits including:

  • Professional development: study assistance, training, mentoring and secondments
  • Financial and other benefits: salary sacrifice superannuation, novated leasing, leave entitlements, banking discounts and offers
  • Health and wellbeing: flexible work arrangements, discounted health insurance and gym memberships, health check-ups
  • Lifestyle benefits: discounted vehicle rentals, discounted technology products, shopping offers.

Spotless employees are entitled to paid sick leave and annual leave, however casual employees do not receive these entitlements as they are remunerated at higher rate of pay instead.

In addition, Australian and New Zealand employees receive a standard of four weeks’ notice for the cessation of employment. Those covered by an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement are governed by the various consultation provisions of their agreement regarding a major change.