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Forget the pay rise, we’ll take the better work-life balance, say Brits

A large proportion of British workers would take a new job if it meant they’d enjoy a better life.

A new report claims that professionals in London (73 per cent), Northern Ireland (64 per cent), the North & Scotland (63m per cent), and the Midlands & Wales (59 per cent) would all strongly consider relocating job roles if it provided a better lifestyle.

This compares with only a fraction of professionals who state that ‘securing a substantial pay rise’ would be a number one career priority right now – London (13 per cent), East of England (13 per cent), South East & South West (10 per cent), Scotland (10 per cent), Midlands (nine per cent), Wales (nine per cent), North (six per cent), and Yorkshire & Humber (two per cent).

This was most prevalent in IT & Tech (50 per cent), Accounting & Finance (43 per cent), Manufacturing & Engineering (32 per cent), Banking & Financial Services (30 per cent), Marketing & PR (30 per cent), and the Public Sector (30 per cent), where candidates stated that lifestyle would be the main reason to trigger a job move.

In fact, almost half of UK professionals (40 per cent) would consider working in a temporary, interim or contract position for more flexibility and a better lifestyle.

Despite employees valuing ‘soft benefits’ such a flexi-working, work-life balance, and ‘being valued’ as key to feeling fulfilled in their job role, almost half of companies (45 per cent) still maintain their belief that an attractive salary & package is what drives the motivation of today’s workforce.

The findings come from recent research undertaken by recruiter Robert Walters and job board CV-Library.

Findings from the report – Meeting Demands Through The Job Offering – highlight the disparity between what employees want and what companies are offering to staff.

Whilst 60 per cent of professionals state career development as an important part of a job offering, less than 10 per cent of companies believe that a lack of career progression and development would be a key reason for losing talent.

Chris Hickey, CEO at Robert Walters said: “With Brexit on the horizon and a challenging time ahead, it is important now more than ever that employers retain top talent. Given that over a third of professionals claim that their employer is failing to meet their career expectations, it is concerning how slow companies are to act towards better understanding their employees’ needs.”

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, added: “Candidates hold the power in the current market, putting more pressure on employers to pull out all the stops in order to attract, recruit and retain the very best workers.
“If you’re struggling with your hiring efforts right now, consider whether your job offers and workplace environment are truly meeting the needs of today’s job hunters. It’s clear from our findings that it’s not just about pay anymore.”

The report also found that whilst companies claim that ‘staff being stuck in their ways’ is the main reason behind the lack of quality applicants, over 40 per cent of professionals state that they would be willing to take up a role in another field where skills would be transferable, or work in a new sector to broaden their skills.