As recent ONS data reports that the jobless rate fell to 3.5% in the three months to August, Visier research shows that Brits are reluctant to rock the boat with their current employer for fear of being left financially worse off.
When asked why they wouldn’t be keen to change job roles during a recession, concerns over job security in a new role (57%), having to settle for a lower salary compared to my current role (42%), and increased competition for current vacancies as a result of increased redundancies (28%) were cited as the leading reasons.
The Recession Risk
More than two thirds still fear that the old saying ‘last hired, first fired’ is true (67%) when it comes to switching roles, which is making changing jobs a risk that many do not want to take.
But there’s a clear tension point. Visier data from June 2022 highlighted that employees were struggling to make ends meet on their current salaries, and were being forced to find alternative ways of making money - including taking on a new role - if their employer did not do more to support them. Reasons cited included concerns about paying their energy bills (75%), rent or mortgage (53%) and paying for food (57%), in line with the rising cost of inflation.
Brits are clearly concerned about their finances, but fears for job security are preventing many from making a career move right now. Nearly a third admitted that they wish they’d considered changing roles earlier this year (29%), joining the great resignation trend. And, 45% agreed that they now feel ‘trapped’ in their current role due to the looming recession.
Of those employees planning to ride out the recession in their current job role and consider a move during more certain times, 30% said that they are more likely to ‘Quietly Quit’ their job during a recession. ‘Quiet Quitting’, which was defined in the context of this study as not quitting your job, but quitting the idea of going above and beyond, was cited by respondents as a good way to work out their next move, focus on personal projects and allocate more time for learning and development activities (26%).
The good news is that respondents said that if their employer - or a prospective employer - offered bonus schemes (39%), better learning and development opportunities (29%) and permanent hybrid working schemes (24%) they’d feel more content with their job.
Ian McVey, MD EMEA at Visier said: “For employers, it’ll be important to recognise that employees will be looking to their employers to help them handle rising costs and flourish in the workplace as we enter this period of economic and political uncertainty. What’s more, for employers looking to attract new talent, it’ll be important to provide employees with the reassurance that the ‘last hired, first fired’ mantra is not true, while offering an employment package that takes into consideration what’s most important to job seekers today.
“Employers need to find ways to communicate honestly and openly about the current challenges businesses are facing with their employees to ensure they feel supported and to reassure them that the business is there for them. Business leaders should therefore focus on taking the time to re-engage employees and implement the measures needed to make work work for them. This can ensure that when the economic tide changes, employees remain - rather than resign. They also need to take a people-first approach to considering different ways to keep employees motivated and engaged in their roles during these more turbulent times.”