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Majority of UK workers plan to actively seek new jobs, citing desire for higher salary

Majority of UK workers plan to actively seek new jobs, citing desire for higher salary

October 18, 2023

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More than half of UK professionals plan to actively look for new jobs in the next six months (51%), according to survey research from Morgan McKinley.

A ‘higher salary’ remains the most valued reason for wanting to move jobs at 42%, followed by ‘meaningful and impactful work’ at 13%.

About half, or 49%, of professionals in the UK are optimistic that they will receive a salary increase in 2024 and 70% of employers plan to increase salary offers in 2024 for certain in-demand roles.

The research also showed that UK workers were not happy with the benefits they received: 59% being ‘neutral’, ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘highly dissatisfied’ with their packages.

Morgan McKinley’s survey also found that contracting appears to be more attractive for many, as 48% of professionals currently employed in permanent roles would consider making the switch to contracting, with the main reasons given being ‘better rates of pay’, ‘greater opportunities to develop skills’, and ‘more flexibility’.

Meanwhile, 86% of organisations in the UK have found hiring ‘quite’ or ‘very’ competitive in 2023. At the same time, 46% have lost out on hiring new talent in the last six months as they ‘can’t compete on salary and benefits’, and 40% expect ‘lack of skilled candidates available’ to be their greatest 2024 recruitment challenge.

Morgan McKinley’s research also found that over half (52%) of UK businesses still plan to hire in the next six months.

David Leithead, chief operations officer of Morgan McKinley UK, said, “The underlying economic gloom caused many employers to slow recruitment; the frenzy to secure new hires has been replaced by companies taking time and care to ensure the best hiring decisions are made. Despite this, the pressure to find new talent has remained, as companies look to drive ahead with change agendas, satisfy new regulatory and legal regimes, maximise commercial opportunities, and respond to turnover.”

“Many employers offered inflated salaries to secure talent throughout 2021 and 2022, so it’s unsurprising that salary offers have largely normalised with fewer opportunities available,” Leithead said.