In the UK labour market, 40 percent of workers are contemplating changing jobs in 2024, with a significant 16 percent already actively seeking new opportunities, according to specialist recruitment firm Robert Half‘s Candidate Sentiment Survey.

While this percentage is marginally lower than the 47 percent recorded the previous year, it underscores the persistent dynamism in the job market as professionals strategically leverage skills shortages to enhance their earning potential. The survey highlights that individuals between 18-34 years of age are particularly inclined to explore new roles, with 56 percent expressing the intention to make a move.

Seeking Higher Salaries

The driving force behind many job transitions remains financial, with 45 percent of workers aspiring for a higher salary. The data further indicates that a third (32 percent) of job seekers would entertain a counteroffer from their current employers. However, alongside financial considerations, the demand for flexible working arrangements remains a prominent factor, as 29 percent of respondents express a desire for more agile work options.

In addition to financial incentives, workers are placing increased emphasis on non-financial aspects, revealing a shift in the professional landscape. Half of the surveyed individuals (50 percent) conveyed that they would be unwilling to work for an organisation whose values do not align with their own. Moreover, 63 percent of job seekers indicated that a company’s values would significantly influence their decision to change jobs, even if comparable salaries were offered elsewhere.

Talent Exodus in London

Geographically, the data signals that London is on the brink of a considerable talent exodus, with 56 percent of workers in the capital contemplating a job move. A noteworthy 23 percent have already initiated their job search. The West Midlands emerges as the second-highest region with 45 percent, followed by Yorkshire and Humberside at 42 percent.

Matt Weston, Senior Managing Director UK & Ireland at Robert Half, commented on the findings, stating, “The UK’s labour market has faced significant challenges and upheaval over the last few years, but the sentiment of candidates remains resilient.” Weston suggests that a combination of skills shortages and the cost-of-living crisis compels some employees to seek new opportunities. This is especially prevalent in the younger demographic.

While the data indicates a slight deceleration in planned job moves, candidates remain confident in finding new employment in 2024. Weston advises employers to take note of the increasing importance of non-financial incentives, with workers seeking not only flexible working arrangements but also alignment with their employer’s values for a long-term commitment.