New research from pre-hire assessment specialists ThriveMap reveals 55% of UK employees surveyed quit a job because it didn’t meet their expectations.
This is a significant increase from 2019, when ThriveMap conducted the same survey. These figures suggest that the recruitment process changes that many organisations implemented in the wake of the pandemic have failed to provide candidates with a realistic picture of the role.
Inaccurate job specifications, misrepresented working environments and flexibility cited as top reasons for handing in notice
While inaccurate job specifications remained the most common reason for employees to leave a role, the survey revealed a significant rise in the number of employees who had left due to unmet expectations around working environment, working hours and shift patterns, and location of role. This reflects the shift that has occurred over the last four years, with employees now demanding much more flexibility around how, when and where they work. It’s clearer than ever that if employees feel that their employers aren’t delivering on their promises, they are prepared to leave and find an organisation that can give them what they want.
A third of employees who left a role did so because the salary and benefits didn’t meet their expectations
Approximately one-third of employees resigned from positions because their salary and benefits expectations were not met. The findings also reveal that there are gender differences in job priorities and expectations. Men were nearly twice as likely as women to have left a job due to unfulfilled salary and benefits, indicating that men are more inclined to leave a role if their initial financial expectations are not being met.
More than half felt a recruiter deliberately mis-sold the job
More than half of the respondents expressed that they believed a recruiter had intentionally misrepresented the job to them, creating yet another significant expectation gap. The survey reveals that this issue extends beyond employers, as recruiters also play a role in contributing to the problem. Among the respondents, 52% stated that recruiters had deliberately mis-sold them a job. The impact is particularly pronounced among individuals under the age of 35, with 55% believing that recruiters had been dishonest about the true nature of the job.
This highlights a common issue in the current job market. When there is a shortage of candidates, recruiters and employers may resort to tactics that are not entirely honest in order to attract applicants and fill vacant positions. This can include exaggerating the benefits of a role, downplaying its challenges, or providing unrealistic expectations about the job.
While this approach may help in the short term by attracting candidates, it has many negative consequences in the long run. When employees join an organisation based on false or inflated promises, this leads to decreased job satisfaction, lower morale, and ultimately, a higher turnover rate.
Chris Platts, CEO of ThriveMap, said, “When we commissioned this research four years ago, I was shocked by the number of people who left a role because it wasn’t what they expected. Recruiting has evolved dramatically since then, relying much more heavily on virtual and online processes.
“Sadly, candidates feel it’s not improving their experience. These results show this has not represented a step forward and candidates have an even less clear picture of what they are applying for.
“It appears that in the race for talent, both employers and recruiters are concentrating their efforts in the wrong areas. Rather than trying to find candidates who are most suited to the roles they have available, they are over-promising and under-delivering.
“Instead of solving their recruitment problems, this is making the situation worse as candidates are not prepared to put up with this lack of clarity. Both need to take a more honest approach and consider how they can adapt their approach to reduce the expectations gap.”