Talent Trends

You’ve probably heard of “The Great Resignation”, “Quiet Quitting”, and the many similar terms which have been used to describe the post-pandemic spike in resignations and drop in employee engagement. 

These are not merely temporary trends or short-term reactions to a period of turbulence. In fact, at PageGroup we believe that they amount to an ‘Invisible Revolution’ – one with enormous implications for employers. 

That’s why we commissioned Talent Trends 2023, an in-depth global study of 70,000 white-collar professionals around the world, with over 2,000 respondents in the UK. This research has uncovered seismic shifts in employee attitudes and motivations, decisively showing that a new era of employee-worker relations is upon us. 

View the full report here

For a snapshot of the transformation which is impacting employment markets in the UK and across the world, keep reading.  

Understanding the revolutionary shift we’ve witnessed

Professionals’ expectations of their jobs have shifted substantially in recent years. Work-life balance, a competitive salary, and strong career progression prospects have become non-negotiable – and workers are willing to leave their roles in order to secure them.  

Among UK respondents, the study found that:

  • A startling 86% of all employees are open to new opportunities
  • Some 50% of respondents said they were active job seekers, either looking for a new role right now or planning to look in the next 12 months
  • A further 36% are on the fence about looking elsewhere 

Workers appear roughly equally willing to change jobs regardless of when they started their current roles. Nor is this openness to switching jobs confined to a particular industry or age group – as you will find in the full market report, this phenomenon is truly widespread.

The talent market is changing – and employers must adapt

So, what does this say about the trends shaping workplace culture in today’s world of work? First of all, the notion of long-term service to a single company is losing currency. “Job-hopping” is now the norm for many. 

Two factors are exacerbating this trend:

1. Tools like email alerts and instant notifications make it easy for workers to stay informed about new opportunities.  
2. Hybrid and remote working enables professionals to look for jobs whilst performing their ordinary duties. 

It’s never been so convenient or simple for workers to find new positions. But what has truly changed things is the new attitude professionals have toward their careers. 

Where did this transformation come from?

From the figures we’ve discussed, one could be forgiven for assuming that most workers have grievances with their employers or are dissatisfied with their roles. 

However, our data shows something different – people are generally happy with their jobs. One in two were satisfied with their roles overall and larger proportions were satisfied with their workloads and salaries. 

Herein lies the new reality: happy workers are still liable to leave if a better opportunity comes along. 

In this post-pandemic world, many professionals have adopted a more ‘transactional’ view of their work, evaluating their jobs with a clear value equation: “What I get” versus “What I give”. Employers who cannot deliver in key areas will inevitably fall behind. 

The three critical factors employers must optimise

How employers approach this new dynamic will prove decisive in whether they thrive or just survive in the Invisible Revolution. 

In practical terms, there are three specific areas which employers will need to address if they want to compete for top talent. And it’s not enough to make a strong offer in just one: they are now basic requirements of an appealing job, and employers must provide all three simultaneously. 

1. Salaries: Why you can’t afford to get remuneration wrong 

The results of our study make clear that employers must satisfy talent’s salary expectations if they want to compete for the best candidates. Top industry professionals are aware of their value – especially with talent shortages affecting so many sectors right now, and an ongoing cost-of-living crisis. 

2. Flexibility: How to make it a cornerstone of your proposition

Work-life balance is now a ‘hygiene’ factor – a basic expectation that won’t necessarily make you stand out. It is therefore incumbent upon employers to redefine flexibility and build a unique employee experience, one which can appeal to a range of professionals. After all, different people need different forms of flexibility.

3. Career development: Keep your people by helping them grow

Our survey shows that professional development and career growth ambitions are essential motivators for professionals who are deciding whether leave an employer or stick around. One in three of our respondents cited career growth as a reason to look for a new job. If you want to keep your stars, you will need to provide a clear progression and development pathway.

How to thrive in the Invisible Revolution

The new talent paradigm will present significant challenges for employers – but by meeting the demands of top talent head on, you will be able to position yourself as an employer of choice. 

Doing this will require an in-depth understanding of the needs, perceptions, and expectations of top talent. Our unique survey of 70,000 professionals around the world will give you exactly the insights you need to adapt your talent strategy in 2023 and beyond. 

Download Talent Trends: The Invisible Revolution today

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