Work-life balance is now a more critical factor to those changing jobs than the salary and benefits on offer, according to new research.
Specialist recruiter Randstad surveyed 9,000 people in the UK and found that 65% now put work-life balance as their top driver when choosing a new employer.
It was the first time in seven years that an attractive salary and benefits hadn’t topped jobseekers’ wishlists, though pay came in a close second at 64%.
Randstad UK CEO Victoria Short said: “In some respects, the profound changes in many people’s jobs has clearly brought the benefits of flexible working to the surface. Our data suggests there are two groups of workers who want to see a more balanced lifestyle here.
“For many, remote working has increased the number of hours they are connected to their employers, reflecting the need for a better lifestyle balance. At the same time, some have benefited from working at home by being able to carry out tasks or juggle personal responsibilities around a more flexible work schedule.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the job losses and widespread use of the furlough scheme since the beginning of the pandemic, job security was still high on the list of priorities at number three (61%).
The final two drivers for those seeking employment were good training at 58% and a pleasant work atmosphere at 55%.
Interestingly, the research revealed there was a disconnect between what employees want and what their employer is offering.
According to Randstad’s evaluation, while employees put work-life balance in the top spot, employers across the UK have it in eighth place.
Short said: “Understanding the gap between what employees want and what they think employers offer provides valuable insight into building a strong employer brand. Benchmarking against what employees perceive being offered by their current employer gives more context to the gaps that need to be bridged in order to create a credible name and the ability to attract the UK’s most sought-after talent.”
Now would seem to be a good time for employers to try to bridge those gaps as the survey also revealed that one-fifth of UK workers were looking to leave their current employment in the next few months.
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