Four in 10 workers plan to look for a new job in the first half of 2022

Career Climbers / 5th January 2022

For many workers, it’ll be out with the old job and in with a new one this year, research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. The company’s biannual Job Optimism Survey of more than 2,400 professionals tracks worker sentiment on current and future career prospects and reveals key implications for employers.

Seeking Greener Pastures

More than 4 in 10 workers surveyed (41%) said they plan to look for a new job in the first half of 2022, up from 32% six months ago. The top reasons are to secure a salary boost (54%), better benefits and perks (38%), and the ability to work remotely permanently (34%). Those most likely to start job searching are:

  • Gen Z professionals (52%)
  • Employees who have been with their company for 2-4 years (49%)
  • Technology workers (47%)

In addition, the survey found that 28% of professionals planning to look for a new job would quit without another one lined up.

View an infographic of the research highlights.

“This is the first time in my 37-year staffing career that I’ve seen so much movement in the market and so many opportunities for workers at all levels,” said Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald. “With nearly half their workforce poised to make a move, companies should be highly concerned about retention in the coming months.”

Stuck With Nowhere to Grow
Regardless of job search plans, 87% of workers surveyed feel confident about their current skillset and 61% seek promotion as the next step in their career. Yet, 41% feel they don’t have a clear path for advancement at their company. Moreover, one-third of employees (34%) feel performance discussions with their manager are ineffective and don’t help them reach their professional goals.

McDonald noted, “In today’s environment, workers are in the driver’s seat. To help keep their best on board, managers should have regular check-ins with their direct reports to discuss career goals, development plans and what could make their employee experience better.”

Drawn to Remote Work

When considering their career options, 54% of professionals expressed interest in fully remote positions at companies based in a different city or state than they live in. Employers recruiting for open roles should look far and wide, McDonald advises: “Your next great hire could be miles away. Companies that embrace remote work options and provide a seamless onboarding experience will have the best chance of bringing in — and keeping — top talent.”

For more tips on retaining talent in a tight labor market, visit the Robert Half blog.

About the Research

The online survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm from November 11-29, 2021. It includes responses from more than 2,400 workers 18 years of age or older in finance, technology, marketing, legal, administrative support, human resources and other areas at companies with 20 or more employees in the U.S.

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