Two-thirds of HR plan to leave their job for a new challenge, survey finds

Experts say people professionals are no longer willing to ‘take a backseat’ as a third plan to move into hospitality and catering roles

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Over two-thirds (67 per cent) of HR professionals have revealed they will leave their job for a new challenge, according to data.

The research by revealed that half (48 per cent) wanted to make more money while over a quarter (28 per cent) wanted a better work-life balance.

It found a third of HR (33 per cent) wanted to switch to hospitality and catering, while 20 per cent wanted to move to customer service and 17 per cent into transport and logistics. 

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The data, which combined two separate consumer research studies of a total 4,314 working UK adults in December 2022 and January 2023, conducted by Research Without Barriers, also revealed 14 per cent wanted a better benefit package,  and another 14 per cent wanted to switch to a fully remote role.

Laura Ibbston, UK HR manager at Heras, said many people professionals are “worn out” from the last two years, and businesses have “quickly forgotten” the role HR played in the pandemic. 

“This is leading to some HR practitioners reconsidering the business they work in and for some, new career choices,” said Ibbston, adding that businesses should “value and respect their HR employees and the dividends you receive will pay ten times over.” 

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The study also revealed that for UK workers, money remained the top priority of more than half (55 per cent) of those polled, followed by improved work-life balance (20 per cent) and increased job security (13 per cent). 

Previous People Management reporting found that almost two thirds (56 per cent) of employees would take a pay cut for better work-life balance, as a third (33 per cent) consider work-life balance to be “crucial” when looking for a new job.

And Simon Wingate, managing director of, said that HR would be no different, as salary is only one factor of talent retention.  

“Although salary is important, it’s not the only factor that will keep people in their jobs, even during a cost-of-living crisis,” said Wingate, adding that people are searching for “better career opportunities, a better work-life balance and more stability” within their roles.

Chris Goulding, managing director of HR recruitment firm Wade Macdonald, said the role of HR has evolved and professionals are increasingly recognising their own potential to drive change within businesses. 

“Many are no longer willing to take a backseat and instead would rather be in positions of increased responsibility, even if that means facing greater challenges,” he said.

Additionally, Liz Sebag-Montefiore, career coach and director of HR consultancy 10Eighty, predicted there will be “a lot of movement” within the profession, and that employers will have to “sculpt jobs” around employee needs.