3 in 4 employees considering a new job in the second half of 2022

New independent research by specialised recruiter Robert Half finds that worker confidence in the labour market remains strong, with 44% of employees currently or planning to look for a new role in the second half of 2022

  • 44% of employees are currently or planning to look for a new role in the second half of 2022; 31% are not actively looking for a new job but would consider the right offer.
  • Low salary (48%), lack of career progression (37%), and unhappiness with job content (30%) are the top three reasons why professionals are looking for a new job.
  • Flexibility (53%), relationship with managers and co-workers (42%), and competitive salary (37%) are the top three reasons why professionals are intending to stay with their current employer.

Sydney, 11 July 2022 – While macro-economic shifts may be dampening business confidence, new independent research by specialised recruiter Robert Half finds that worker confidence in the labour market remains strong, with 44% of employees currently or planning to look for a new role in the second half of 2022. A further 31% of employees are not actively looking for a new job but would consider a new role if approached with the right offer.

Salary driving candidate turnover

There is fierce competition between employers to fill vacant positions and grow headcount, and candidates are aware of their bargaining power. While 44% of all respondents indicated active job search plans for the second half of 2022, this goes up to 58% amongst Gen Z and 50% amongst Millennial workers, suggesting that junior to mid-level employees are leveraging their bargaining power to fast-track career goals through a new role.

Skilled talent from industries that have experienced strong post-pandemic growth are subject to high demand and fierce competition to secure their skills, which is contributing to a higher frequency of turnover with Human Resources (62%) and Technology (54%) professionals the most likely to look for a new role in the next six months.

Those most likely to pursue a new role are:

  • Human Resources professionals - 62%
  • 18 – 24 year olds - 58%
  • New South Wales workers - 50%

Breakdown of worker intention by age, gender, location and industry available below.

The main reasons professionals are looking for a new job are:

  • Salary is too low - 48%
  • Lack of career progression opportunities - 37%
  • Unhappiness with job content - 30%
  • Lack of flexibility (teleworking, hybrid work, flexible working hours) - 25%
  • High workload - 23%        

The labour market still favours the worker and it is a great time to explore the job market and take advantage of opportunities that offer better pay, a greater challenge and more flexibility," said Andrew Brushfield, Director Robert Half in announcing Robert Half’s latest survey results.

"While rising inflation rates position remuneration as an employee’s primary concern as it relates to their work life, salary alone is a fragile reason to take on a role, particularly for a lateral move. Career progression can often accelerate remuneration faster than job hopping between incremental offers, while the negative impact of poor work-life balance, toxic company culture, or repetitious workload will quickly outweigh the perks of a salary bump.”

Flexibility and positive relationships a barrier to turnover

Just one-quarter (25%) of respondents have no plans to change roles in the next six months. This threat of a tenured talent exodus reaffirms the strategic importance of retention and talent management to business continuity.

The main reasons these professionals are intending to stay with their current company are:

  • Flexibility – 53%
  • Relationship with managers and co-workers – 42%
  • Competitive salary – 37%
  • Job content – 35%
  • Company culture – 35%

“We are at the juncture of extreme labour markets – from the disruption of the pandemic, to one of the tightest labour markets on record, and the threat of a cyclical downturn on the horizon – but the core principle of strong talent management remains the same: listen to your employees,” said Brushfield.

“If you know why people stay with your organisation, you know what to emphasise when recruiting new talent. Likewise, why people leave is the fastest way to understand how to improve the employee value proposition in future. In this market, even passive jobseekers are at flight risk, so it's crucial for companies to understand and address employees' priorities before they even contemplate a career move.”

Brushfield concludes “Our research highlights the value of intangible or low-cost efforts to cultivate an engaged employee, such as fostering a positive workplace through fulfilling working relationships and company culture, challenging employees through exposure to new projects or responsibilities, and respecting employees through the autonomy of hybrid work. While the war to attract talent is pushing up remuneration, a satisfied employee can’t be bought in the long-term.”

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Notes to editors 

About the research 

The study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted online by an independent research firm in June 2022, surveying 1,019 office workers from across Australia.