Retaining talent in a fluid job market

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Whilst it dramatically altered every aspect of life in the short-term, one of the long-term changes brought about by the pandemic is employees’ willingness to change jobs.

The last few years have seen many UK workers decide to move on from their current occupation, moving to similar roles with more benefits, or taking a chance on turning a hobby into a career. For employers, this has led to something of a power shift, where empowered employees are now demanding more of those who employ them to keep them happy. 

As part of a recent survey into the resilience of the UK workforce, Barnett Waddingham explored the rate at which people are changing jobs, to see how far reaching this shift is, and to find solutions for HR directors looking to retain their best talent.

Question: How many times, over the last two years, have you started employment with a different organisation?


Three times7%
Four times2.4%
Five times0.5%
Six times0.2%
More than six times0.1%

While the majority of the 3,000 people surveyed didn’t change jobs over the last two years, 43.3% did, which for any typical company would represent a huge turnover of staff over a relatively short time period.

While salary was the leading reason stated (34%) in our survey, a desire for more flexibility was close behind (22%). The advancement of technology that makes working-from-home easier has led to people putting more stock into flexible working arrangements. Not all industries can offer this flexibility, but a rigid policy on topics such as hybrid working could be causing people to make like-for-like job changes just to keep their newfound flexibility.

It should also not be underestimated how much employees value career progression. While HR teams won’t be able to convince everyone to stay on-board, supporting career progression in-house can help employees see the benefits of remaining in their current jobs long-term.

Get more actionable advice in Barnett Waddingham’s new HR Guidebook on Employee Resilience.

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Nick Pahl (1)
24 May 2024

3 mins read


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