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As the job market has improved UK workers’ confidence has returned, according to new research from recruiter Randstad. A survey of 7,000 respondents reveals that competitive pay and benefits are seen as the most important requirement of a new employer, while job security, the top factor for the past three years, has fallen to third place.
In 2012, 27% of people said long-term job security was the most important criteria in choosing to work for a specific company. But this has now fallen to 16%, the lowest in three years. Meanwhile, 18% of respondents said competitive salary and employee benefits were the most important factor in picking an employer, compared to only 11% in 2012.
“2012 was a tough year for the job market with confidence falling even further than in 2011. That was reflected in people’s priorities – salary packages weren’t as important to potential employees as the financial health of a business,” said Mark Bull, Randstad's UK CEO. “Over the course of the last twelve months, that’s changed dramatically and the UK’s workforce appears much more bullish.”
The research also found that happiness with current jobs and pay varies greatly across industry sectors. People working in the utilities sector are the happiest employees in the UK with 96% feeling content about their jobs and 62% about their pay.
On the other hand, accountants and those working in retail are unhappiest about their current job and pay packages. People working in the education, health care, construction, engineering and automotive industries are also less happy than the general working population.
The survey also revealed the most attractive company to work for in the UK was retailer The John Lewis Partnership ranking first, closely followed by Marks & Spencer.