Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

New Year, Same Career: Less than 1 in 10 workers to look for a new job this January

Concerns over job security are expected to slow down the ‘January jobs rush’ in 2023, with just 8% of Brits planning on looking for a new role as they start the year.

  • A third of workers (32%) are concerned about job security in the face of a looming recession.
  • Research suggests a slowdown in the typical January job rush, with only 8% of workers planning on looking for a new job in the new year.
  • Under a third (31%) of British workers expect to look for a new job in 2023 – down from 90% in 2021.
  • Higher salaries are the top driver behind job searches (57%) in next 12 months as jobseekers seek higher pay to counteract the rising cost of living.
  • With 62% of jobseekers set to overlook job adverts that don’t disclose salary information in 2023, Totaljobs calls on employers to publish salaries when advertising job vacancies.

Concerns over job security are expected to slow down the ‘January jobs rush’ in 2023, with just 8% of Brits planning on looking for a new role as they start the year. According to the latest report by Totaljobs, which surveyed over 2,000 UK workers, this contrasts significantly with previous years, despite the number of job vacancies remaining high.

While under a third (31%)  of workers plan on finding a new job at some point in 2023, this is drastically down from 89% reported this time two years ago.

Salary & Stability

With news of an economic recession on the horizon, Totaljobs’ research suggests that fears for job security are weighing heavily on the minds of UK workers, with one third (32%) stating that they feel greater concern for their job security than they did during the pandemic.

The report shows how candidate expectations are shifting and people have become more selective in roles that they might consider.

62% said that, in light of the cost-of-living crisis, they are more likely to ignore a job advert that doesn’t disclose salary. Over two-thirds (68%) said they are more likely to pay closer attention to the benefits listed in a job description and more than half (52%) said they are more likely to take greater interest in company performance.

Prioritising paycheques

Almost three in four (74%) Brits said that they are worried about their financial situation, because of the rising cost of living.

These fears are playing out amongst jobseekers in next 12 months, as the number one motivation behind those seeking a new job in 2023 is a higher salary (57%). This was followed by a lack of job satisfaction in their existing role (39%), wanting a better work life balance (33%) and seeking better growth and training opportunities (25%).

Flexible working options still remain a priority, with 1 in 4 (25%) expecting employers to offer more flexible working options as well as a similar demand (16%) for fully remote working altogether.

Commenting on the findings Steve Warnham, Senior Researcher at Totaljobs said:

“The key factors impacting the recruitment market in the New Year include employees’ want and need for a higher salary to ensure their financial stability, coupled with a recession-fuelled hesitancy to change jobs.

“However, the employment market remains resilient, with historically high levels of job vacancies. So, despite understandable caution from candidates, our research suggests that businesses need to ensure they are doing their best to promote their job vacancies and engage potential hires.

“Alongside this, setting fair and transparent salaries, and promoting the support and non-monetary benefits available to staff, will be key to ensuring businesses can continue to plug skills gaps and bounce back when the economy recovers.”

Advice for employers:

Be specific when it comes to salary: Try to be as clear as possible, ideally listing the exact salary you are offering. Including a salary on your job ad increases applications by up to 20%.

If you are using a range, try to keep it as small as possible. Candidates appreciate transparency as it allows them to make informed decisions on the jobs they apply for.

You can also add additional information onto your salary, including additional benefits such as the amount of annual leave offered, pension contributions or a company car allowance.

Consider transferrable skills in your search:

Over half of people who change jobs, move into a new industry. When recruiting for skills, or potential, employers should look for candidates that might fall outside of their usual search, such as in different sectors or locations.

An interactive tool, detailing job movements across different industries can be found here:

Holistic job offers and flexible working

Totaljobs encourages employers to acknowledge the situation we’re in and have open conversations with their staff about financial wellbeing and remuneration.

Now is the time to consider more holistic job offers that cater to the individual needs of candidates, especially for those hit hardest by the rise in everyday living costs. Such offers will be vital in retaining and attracting talent for the foreseeable future.

On top of this, employees have long called for more flexible working conditions, and the economic impact of the rising cost of living has only entrenched this. Considering the impact that the cost of travel, childcare, and more has; our research shows that 1 in 4 workers expect their employers to offer more flexibility in 2023, with a quarter also wanting to be fully remote.

About the research:

All insights, unless otherwise stated, come from a survey Totaljobs conducted between 12th to 14th December 2022 via YouGov. The total survey sample size was 4,364 adults, of which 2546 are workers and 779 will be looking for a job in 2023.The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

About Totaljobs:

Totaljobs is one of UK’s leading job boards, attracting 12 million visits and 3 million applications from qualified jobseekers every month. 130,000 new candidates register with us each month who have an average of 170,000 jobs a month to choose from, posted by thousands of employers including Amazon, Sky, Virgin Media, DHL amongst many others. We were formed in 1999 and we are part of Totaljobs Group Ltd, the largest and fastest growing UK job board company in the UK. Our head office is in London, and we also have offices in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Glasgow. In turn, Totaljobs Group Ltd is a significant division of StepStone Group, one of the largest job board companies in the world and a subsidiary of Axel Springer Digital Classifieds.