‘Last in, first out’ scaring people from starting new jobs post-pandemic

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Recruiters are concerned people are holding back from moving jobs due to the fear of being the last in, first out, according to new research by LinkedIn.

More than three-quarters (77%) of recruiters said candidates currently seem less committed to moving roles, and nearly half (46%) have seen an increase in the number of people ‘sheltering’ in their current job.

This reluctance to change jobs it found has stemmed from a fear of putting regular incomes and job security at risk post-pandemic.


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Adam Hawkins, head of search and staffing at LinkedIn, said it’s understandable that people are feeling anxious about the prospect of moving jobs.

He told HR magazine: “Employees will be particularly anxious to change roles if they have good job security, a steady income, and their employer has treated them well over the past year.

“Recruiters are playing a pivotal role in re-instilling career confidence in candidates and getting the labour market moving again.”

Almost a quarter (24%) of UK workers have put their career on the backburner over the past year to avoid the risk of losing a stable job.

Another 21% said they have been too concerned about the pandemic to concentrate on career progression.

Hawkins said in-house or agency recruiters are often the first people prospective employees will interact with, so it’s important to make people feel at ease early on to convey confidence.

“To reassure against any apprehension, take the time in those initial interviews to explain the important role that person will play in the company, why the skills they have are in-demand, the valuable contribution they will make when they join and why you’re excited to have them on board.

“Feeling valued from the get-go for the skills and experience they bring will inspire confidence and will go a long way in helping people feel positive about a potential move,” explained Hawkins.

Nick Kirk, regional managing director UK and North America at recruitment agency Michael Page, said that because of the pandemic, job security has risen to the top of people's minds.

“However, as we cautiously emerge from lockdown, people are beginning to realise that their needs have changed," he said.

“Now, they want hybrid working, to choose their own hours, or potentially move out of the city."

Kirk said companies will try to compete to offer the most attractive policies and benefits, and normality begins to resume in work and social life.

“People will become more confident to shake off the lockdown shackles and get back to searching for their dream set-up,” he said.