Three in five workers looking for new job, research finds

Poll reveals cost of living crisis is pushing employees to seek roles with higher wages rather than waiting for pay reviews

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More than three in five workers are looking for a new job, research has revealed, as the cost of living crisis forces people to seek out new roles with higher wages. 

A survey of 832 candidates, carried out by Aspire, found 60.8 per cent of workers were currently looking for another position, with almost half (49 per cent) reporting doing so specifically because of the cost of living crisis.

More than two-thirds (69.4 per cent) of prospective candidates said they were more likely to be paid more if they moved jobs, rather than staying in their existing role and waiting for a pay review (10.1 per cent).

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More than a third (39.7 per cent) also said they saw the cost of living crisis as the biggest external factor affecting the jobs market.

In general, 59.8 per cent of those surveyed said they felt there were lots of roles open.

This news comes following the insights from the CIPD’s Good Work Index, which revealed that 20 per cent of workers believe they will likely quit their current role in the next 12 months. Extrapolated across the UK’s working population, this means just over 6.5 million people could be looking to change in the coming year.

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Among those considering quitting their job, more than a third (35 per cent) said they were looking to move for better pay and benefits – the most common reason cited.

Commenting on the recent report from Aspire, Charles Cotton, senior performance and reward adviser for the CIPD, said it was not surprising that so many people were looking to change jobs to earn more amid the cost of living crisis. 

But, he warned, “this comes at a time when many employers are also facing spiralling costs” and wages are “not the only thing people are looking at when considering a move”.  

To better attract or retain staff, he suggested HR teams help their organisations create a strong employer value proposition and then effectively communicate it.

“For example, this proposition can include such existing or new elements as flexible working, staff development, career progression opportunities, being listened to, fair pay, interesting work or even an inspiring mission,” he explained.

Kate Palmer, HR advice and consultancy director at Peninsula, agreed, warning that widespread resignations mean employers are competing to attract new talent, “while juggling their existing team members to ensure they don’t lose any more key personnel”. 

As a result, ”the power has somewhat shifted from the employer that is recruiting, to the employee who is job hunting”, she explained, adding that Peninsula has observed starting salaries soaring and businesses introducing various benefits to incentivise applicants. 

Not only is it difficult for some businesses to keep up with market offerings, Palmer also said “employers that are unable to keep up with employee expectations may experience a reduction in motivation”.

“It’s important for employers to re-evaluate their people strategy and look to improve motivation and satisfaction in other ways,” she explained, suggesting HR professionals consider their firm’s training and development opportunities, as well as benefits such as free car parking, travel ticket loans or bonus schemes.

Competitive salaries was an issue also observed by Ian Moore, managing director of Lodge Court, who warned that many businesses are still feeling the pains of the pandemic, so might not have the budget available to accommodate the starting salary increases. 

“As an HR within such a business, there are several things you can do to keep your employees happy, such as offering more flexible working arrangements, being more transparent about what you can offer in terms of pay increases and promotions and aligning performance targets to these goals, and training your managers to provide better support and mentoring to their direct reports,” he suggested.