Despite a slowdown in the employment market, a recent study by Tiger Recruitment has uncovered that 40% of UK professionals are gearing up to explore new job opportunities, primarily driven by the desire for higher salaries in the coming year.
The survey, conducted among 1,800 UK professionals, revealed that individuals who did not receive a pay raise in 2023 are more likely to consider changing jobs, with a significant 33% contemplating taking on a second job to supplement their income.
Beyond monetary motivations, respondents cited work-life balance and benefits as crucial factors influencing their decision to seek new opportunities. While 51% of workers received a pay raise in the past year, only 19% saw their salary increase in line with inflation.
To cope with the financial strain, half of employees have either taken on a second job or additional freelance work (22%) or are contemplating such measures (28%). Surprisingly, even high earners, with an annual salary of £50,000 or above, are not immune, with a fifth considering extra work.
Tiger Recruitment's research suggests that the lack of employer support in managing the rising cost of living is contributing to the trend of seeking second jobs. A significant 42% of those supplementing their income receive no assistance from their employer, compared to a third of employees overall.
Common cost-of-living benefits offered by employers include a pay raise for all staff (26%), increased flexibility for homeworking to reduce commuting costs (14%), or a one-off payment or cost-of-living bonus (14%).
While salary remains the top priority for 82% of job seekers, work-life balance has moved from third to second place in employee priorities compared to the previous year, highlighting the sustained importance of hybrid working. Benefits have also gained significance, jumping from eighth to third place, though only 15% of employees are satisfied with their current package.
David Morel, CEO of Tiger Recruitment, commented on the findings, stating, "Despite the current market uncertainty, many people feel the only way to secure the salary they need to cope with rising costs is by changing jobs or taking on extra work."
Looking ahead, Morel predicts a potential surge in job seekers as year-end performance reviews approach, with employees expecting salary increases that employers may struggle to meet. To mitigate a potential talent drain, Morel advises employers to focus on providing soft benefits and supporting work-life balance to keep their workforce motivated and loyal, even if immediate pay increases are not feasible.