Jobseekers prioritise progression and working conditions over pay

Almost half (45%) of companies mistakenly believe salaries drive employees to move jobs, rather than their working culture

Findings from Robert Walters' and CV-Library’s Attracting the right talent: Meeting Demands Through the Job Offering report highlight the disparity between what employees want and what companies are offering staff.

Professionals in London (73%), Northern Ireland (64%), the North and Scotland (63%), and the Midlands, East Anglia and Wales (59%) all said they've strongly considered changing jobs if the new job provided a better lifestyle.

Jobseekers' top priorities when looking for a role were working for a company that values them (25%), gaining experience (17%), a strong work/life balance (17%), and developing technical skills and capabilities (11%).

Almost half of UK professionals (40%) would consider working in a temporary, interim or contract position for more flexibility and a better lifestyle.

Despite employees valuing ‘soft benefits’ such as flexible working, work/life balance and ‘being valued’, almost half of companies (45%) still maintain the belief that an attractive salary and package is what motivates today’s workforce.

Companies were also found to lag behind on progression. While 60% of professionals state career development as a very important part of a job offering, less than 10% of companies believe that a lack of career progression and development would be a key reason for losing talent.

By sector, IT professionals were most likely to be more motivated by lifestyle than pay in terms of switching jobs (50%), followed by accounting and finance (43%); manufacturing and engineering (32%); marketing, PR and advertising (30%); and workers in the public sector (30%).

The report also found that while companies claim 'lack of commercial awareness' and ‘staff being stuck in their ways’ are the main reasons behind a lack of quality applicants, more than 40% of professionals would be willing to take up a role in another field where skills would be transferable, or work in a new sector to broaden their skills.

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, said that employers should place greater emphasis on working environments as finding skilled candidates becomes more challenging. “Candidates hold the power in the current market; putting more pressure on employers to pull out all the stops in order to attract, recruit and retain the very best workers,” he said.

“If you’re struggling with your hiring efforts right now consider whether your job offers and workplace environment are truly meeting the needs of today’s jobseekers. It’s clear from our findings that it’s not just about pay anymore.”