The Cost-of-Living Crisis: A Catalyst for Job Switching

Your Opinion
Published: 17.01.24

In recent times, the United Kingdom has witnessed a surge in individuals contemplating a change in their professional trajectory. The catalyst for this widespread reconsideration of career paths is the escalating cost-of-living crisis.

According to a recent article by TALiNT International, a staggering one-third of British professionals find themselves on the verge of changing jobs.

The current landscape

The cost-of-living crisis has overwhelmed various aspects of daily life, prompting individuals to reassess their career choices in pursuit of financial stability and a better quality of life. Currently, British workers are job switching and quitting at historic rates since recovering from unusual job market trends caused by the global pandemic. Consequently, it’s paramount that businesses focus on retaining talent by engaging their employees and remunerating them fairly.

Along with a focus on retaining existing workers, employers should be prepared to hire in line with changing demands. Technology is ranked as the most lucrative industry to work in, with 12% of the UK population thinking of moving into IT. The inexorable demand for tech workers and some of the highest paying STEM jobs in the market, the current hardships faced by the population has sparked an interest in pursuing a career in tech. Tech companies, in particular, should equip themselves to handle a surge in hiring.

What are the key drivers for job switching?

Financial strain caused by rising prices of essential commodities, housing, and energy have left a substantial portion of the population grappling with increased financial burdens in post pandemic times; 13% of the population said this was the main factor for considering a change of employment. But seeking financial security and raising earning potential is only one of the reasons for an influx of job switching.

Hybrid and remote work considerations

The pandemic has fundamentally shifted perspectives on remote work, with more individuals valuing the flexibility it offers. 40% of UK employees are considering switching jobs by the end of the year due to the demand for hybrid and remote roles, aiming to enhance work-life balance and reduce commuting costs.

Career progression opportunities

The traditional outlook on staying loyal to a company and working your way up the hierarchy has changed in recent years. The working population is becoming increasingly younger, with many of Generation Z and Millennials seeing the benefit of job hopping to advance their careers. A change in attitude, paired with additional financial challenges, has prompted employees to explore job opportunities that not only offer financial stability but also provide avenues for career growth and advancement.

Changing priorities

The stress and anxiety induced by financial uncertainty and increased living costs have taken a toll on the mental health of many workers. According to Deloitte’s Wellbeing at Work Survey, 74% of respondents said they are prioritising their wellbeing over career progression. Employees are actively seeking workplaces that prioritise well-being, including mental health support programmes and the implementation of work-life balance policies.

How to handle job switching and issues with retention

Fluidity in the labour market is a good sign, especially during an ongoing talent shortage. The rise of AI and the unchangeable demand for tech workers is going to provide many lucrative opportunities for job seekers in the coming months and years.

It’s a pivotal moment in the UK labour market, with a substantial portion of the workforce contemplating job changes fuelled by the cost-of-living crisis. As individuals navigate this challenging landscape, employers are presented with an opportunity to address the evolving needs and priorities of their workforce. The coming months may witness a significant reshaping of the job market as both employees and employers adapt to the changing dynamics of work and life in the face of economic challenges.

Employers should focus on retention strategies whilst preparing themselves for different market conditions if and when the time comes to hire. By considering flexible working policies, offering routes of progression, investing in employee care and wellbeing, and offering competitive salaries, they can prevent high levels of employee turnover and be attractive to prospecting job seekers in future hiring endeavours.

Looking for more advice?

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