Resignation numbers show no signs of slowing

A global Talent Trends survey of almost 70,000 working adults has uncovered seismic shifts in employee attitudes and motivations – 90% of global respondents and 86% of UK respondents cited they are open to new opportunities in the jobs market.

Conducted by global recruitment consultancy, PageGroup, the survey is one of the largest studies of skilled, white-collar professionals to date. Of the 2,145 UK respondents, 50% classified themselves as active job seekers, either looking for a new role or planning to look in the next six months. A further 36% are on the fence about looking elsewhere – waiting for the economy to improve.

For employers, these figures suggest only 1 in 10 current staff members are confident they will stay put this year. New joiners are likely to be open to new opportunities as their more tenured counterparts, with more than a third of those who started their job as recently as 2022 considered ‘active job seekers’.

Key Survey FIndings:

The number of resignations is not slowing – with 2022 recording a resignation level almost three times that of 2021 (44% vs. 15%).
26% of UK workers are in full time office roles, with fully remote (19%) and hybrid working models (55%) becoming the norm.
53% of workers are more likely to look for work when the economy is performing poorly – this direct correlation is more pronounced across the rest of Europe (58%) and the world (70%).
67% are satisfied with their current workloads and 59% are satisfied with their salaries.
52% feel content in their roles overall – showing employees are generally happy in a role but keeping an eye out for their next move.
Salary was ranked as the most important part of a job (23%) as 32% UK respondents revealed they hadn’t received a pay rise in two years.
76% would prioritise a better work-life balance and mental health over career success, a higher percentage than in Europe (73%) and globally (67%).
57% in the UK would reject a promotion if they believed it would have a negative effect on their well-being.

Doug Rode, Managing Director UK and Ireland at Michael Page said: “There’s a lot of fog and ambiguity around what’s going on in the market, which is why we wanted to go straight to the source and find out what’s making both workers and employers tick. Happy workers are still liable to leave if a better opportunity comes along and many professionals are adopting a more ‘transactional’ view of their jobs, putting their own value first.”

Nicholas Kirk, CEO, PageGroup added: “Every region has seen a transformative change across all age groups, markets, and industries. It’s clear there has been a universal reset of people’s relationships with their jobs. Work-life balance, a competitive salary, and strong career progression prospects have become non-negotiable, and professionals are willing to leave their current roles to secure these elsewhere.”