Candidates calling the shots

New opportunities brought on by pandemic to fuel tsunami of turnover as over a quarter (28%) of workers plan to look for a new job in 2022, according to research by recruitment specialist Robert Half (www.roberthalf.co.uk).

With employers needing to fill roles created by the post-pandemic work environment, the job market is heavily geared in favour of candidates, who are better able to command salaries, benefits and working conditions that suit them.

This new-found power in the job market, along with increased certainty in the economic recovery, is pushing candidates to consider their options.  More than a quarter (28%) of employees are likely to look for a new job in 2022 – and many are already searching.

Recruitment for permanent positions is set to kick up a notch in 2022 as 31% of businesses move to fill vacated roles and hire for newly created positions, according to Robert Half.  Demand is particularly high for talent with hybrid skill sets, as well as digital skills that ensure businesses can keep up with the pace of transformation and automation.  

In most sectors covered by the report, salaries are expected to remain static and 25% of employers say they have no plans for increases in the near future.  However, with fierce competition in the market, intentions may not match reality, and increases in median monthly pay show the strength of candidates’ influence when agreeing terms with a new employer.  

“While businesses may not intend to increase the salaries on offer, the booming jobs market means they may need to re-evaluate,” says Matt Weston, UK Managing Director, Robert Half.  “With candidates holding multiple offers at the moment, we’re finding that a competitive salary alone is not enough; businesses must review the benefits on offer and promote their values to set themselves apart.”

Employers are balancing stagnant salaries with enhanced benefits packages to gain a competitive edge.  For example, more than three in five (62%) employers are now offering bonuses above or in line with pre-pandemic levels to counter stagnant salaries, and nearly half (45%) now offer remote working as standard, in line with candidate expectations for the workplace.

One in five (20%) employees say they would consider leaving their current role if they could not have their desired working arrangements – and as employees increasingly vote with their feet and move into new roles, businesses must accommodate employee demands to retain top talent.  

“We’re currently seeing demand above and beyond pre-pandemic levels, and despite the so-called ‘Great Resignation’ creating a tsunami of turnover, we are still experiencing a saturated market where the demand for skilled talent outstrips the supply,” continues Weston.

“The war for talent is only going to get fiercer over the next 12 months, businesses must think about how they can compete and prepare to negotiate. If employers assume they’re in the driving seat and are slow to act they will miss out on top talent.”