Remember back to your childhood days of playing cops and robbers, watching Blue Heelers and thinking that being a policeman or policewoman would be the coolest job in the world? Whether it’s chasing baddies, helping old ladies cross the street, or going into battle to defend your country, the dream of being in the police and defence forces is still alive in grown-up Australians.

According to the second annual Dream Employers report by Insync Surveys and RedBalloon, the police force and departments of defence took out two of the top 20 Dream Employers spots, which came as a surprise to James Garrlock, CEO of Insync Surveys.

“The inclusion of the police force and departments of defence comes as a surprise after a year of negative publicity. And the result indicates a shift towards more stable industries,” Garrlock says.

With the police force coming in 12th place and the defence departments at 16th place, Catherine Burn, corporate services commissioner for NSW Police Force believes that the force’s recent marketing activity has been a reason for this peak in interest.

Aside from the participation in a range of TV programs that highlight the vast career options available and display the “human side of policing that people may not have been aware of previously,” Burns believes that people are looking towards careers that offer them a sense of pride for contributing to “the betterment of society”.

Other companies listed in the top 20 employers respondents dreamed of working for include reigning champion Google, Virgin Group, Qantas, Vodafone and new entrant, Facebook.

Interestingly, while both Qantas and Vodafone have been subjected to negative consumer backlash over the past year, this has not affected the public’s opinion of these companies being prime employers. According to the survey, Vodafone has managed to maintain its positive perception due to strong internal communications, where employees can provide feedback and are offered a range of learning and training programs.

The survey also found priorities for careers have changed. While company reputation was the prime reason for choosing an employer last year, pay, benefits and work conditions are now highly regarded.

Belle Kwan
BY Belle Kwan ON 21 September 2011
Assistant editor, Marketing magazine & marketingmag.com.au
A marketer's dream who believes everything she sees on TV.
Advertising is not evil, it is an artform and a science.