Despite a cooling labour market, research from Tiger Recruitment has found that four in 10 UK professionals plan to hunt for a new job – and a higher salary – in the year ahead.
People who haven’t had a pay rise in 2023 are most likely to be on the move, with a third of prospective jobseekers considering a second job to supplement their income.
However, money is not the only factor motivating people to seek new opportunities; work-life balance and benefits are also high on their wish lists.
Based on a survey of 1,800 UK professionals, the research found that while half of workers (51%) received a pay rise in the past year, less than a fifth (19%) saw their salary increase in line with inflation.
To support their financial needs, half of employees have either taken on a second job or additional freelance work (22%) or are thinking about it (28%). High earners aren’t immune; a fifth of those forced to take on – or consider – extra work earn an annual salary of £50,000 or above.
Tiger Recruitment’s research suggests that the cost-of-living support provided – or not – by employers is contributing to the second job trend. Two in five (42%) of those forced to supplement their income get no help from their employer with rising costs, versus only a third of employees overall.
The most common cost-of-living benefits offered by employers are a pay rise for all staff (26%), greater flexibility over homeworking to reduce commuting costs (14%), or a one-off payment or cost-of-living bonus (also 14%).
While salary is the top priority for 82% of jobseekers, work-life balance edges from third to second place in employee priorities compared with last year, indicating the continued importance of hybrid working. Benefits have become even more critical, jumping from eighth to third place, yet only 15% of employees are happy with their current package.
David Morel, CEO of Tiger Recruitment, comments, “Despite the current market uncertainty, many people feel the only way to secure the salary they need to cope with rising costs is by changing jobs or taking on extra work.
In the year ahead, the job market is likely to see even more of a shift: As year-end performance reviews approach, workers will be expecting salary rises. However, employers may not be able to meet these expectations, which could lead to a new influx of jobseekers.
To avert a potential talent drain, employers should focus on providing soft benefits and supporting their employees’ work-life balance. Doing so will help keep their workforce motivated and likely to stay with the company, even if pay increases aren’t feasible right now.”