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Only 16 percent of workers are worried about quitting for a new job

“The Great Resignation is here and job loyalty is a thing of the past” – Victoria Short, CEO of Randstad UK

With demand and vacancies so high, and with workers having been stuck treading water in jobs they don’t want for 18 months, employees want to – and can afford to – move on.    That’s the conclusion of a survey of over 6,000 adults in the UK showing confidence to move jobs is soaring.

Almost 7 in every 10 employees (69%) say they feel confident to move to a new job in the next couple of months, according to a poll undertaken by recruiter Randstad UK.  And only 16% of workers describe themselves as worried about trying to get a new job,

The survey found that those in construction, tech and logistics were among the most confident in the country with workers in manufacturing being the most confident where 74% said they felt confident about moving to a new job now.

HR, legal, and accountancy professionals were among the least confident in the country although  call centre workers were the least confident (59%).  Indeed, almost a quarter (23%) of call centre workers described themselves as “worried” about trying to secure a new job.

There was very little difference between those on fixed term contract and permanent employee although temporary workers appeared slightly more positive.

Victoria Short, CEO at Randstad UK said, The Great Resignation is here and job loyalty is a thing of the past.  Very few people moved jobs during the pandemic – the missing quits.  A lot of people who wanted to quit just hadn’t and they led to a deluge of resignations.  Another factor is burnout.  Some teams have been running too hot for too long.   The pandemic has changed how some people think about life, work, and what they want out of both.  It’s made people step back and rethink their lives. 

Covid has reminded them that life is too short – and the number of vacancies means that not only do they want to change one of the key aspects of their life – their jobs – they can.  In some cases, people are changing their whole careers.  The most important factor however, is that ties to firms have become weaker.  Working from home means you are no longer sitting next to a friend or that you have a particularly good commute.  Suddenly those factors, which are surprisingly powerful, are negated; working from home makes it matter less who you work for.  Combined, that is making the UK jobs market more fluid than ever.”

Overall, almost a quarter (24%) of employees in the UK say they plan to move jobs within the next three to six months.

This level of job hopping will come at some cost to the UK’s private sector.  A major cost implication for firms replacing professional staff is the lost output a company experiences during the period of time the new worker is getting up to speed.  According to research carried out by Oxford Economics, a new professional worker takes 28 weeks to reach optimum productivity – which has an attached cost of £25,200 per employee.

Adrian Smith, senior director of operations at Randstad UK said:This could be very expensive for UK plc.  By way of example, there are 275,000 accountants in the UK.  If, in the next few months, even a sixth of them choose to act on their new found belief in their career prospects and get a new job with a different employer – for better pay or conditions – that would cost firms more than a billion pounds in lost productivity alone.”

*The research was unveiled at a webinar hosted by Randstad, The Great Resignation – Coping with Mass Exodus, including special guest speaker Christine Armstrong, management expert and author of The Mother of All Jobs  – How to Have Children and a Career and Stay Sane.

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