Are 70% of UK staff only one step from resignation?

A survey from GCS Recruitment has revealed us to be a nation of passive job seekers, who may be quietly persuaded into other roles by a blurring of boundaries between our home and work life.

In its latest Marketing Insights report, the specialist technology recruiter spoke to 1,752 candidates and 826 clients, and found that a massive 70% of workers considered themselves passive job seekers – happy enough in their current roles, but willing to consider new positions.

Combine this with the fact over a fifth of bosses expect employees to always be contactable outside of work hours (21%) and another showing 62% of employees are unhappy with their benefits package, and the nation’s employers could face a deluge of resignations in the coming months.

Passive job seeking is a rising trend bolstered by the ease in which recruiters and employees can converse, whether this is via social media or on job boards. In the world of 24/7 connectivity, candidates will have opportunities placed in front of them more regularly – and when it comes to those who are regularly fielding calls from the boss out of hours, it’s not difficult to see why a new role may seem tempting.

As well as bosses with bad habits, the survey showed that 62% of people are not happy with the benefits package offered at their organisation, and a quarter of us believe that our workplace’s remuneration package is below the industry standard.

It seems that despite moves towards working from home becoming more standard, not all employees have yet benefited. 44% of survey respondents said being able to work from home is the work perk that would make the biggest difference to their life – this is over 20% more people than those who would value flexi-time (23%) and 30% more than those who said compressed hours would improve their work life balance (14% of respondents).

David Bloxham, managing director of GCS Recruitment, commented:

“As the modern workplace continues to change, and as a nation we are more digitally connected than ever, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the boundaries have become blurred when it comes to when employees should be contactable. Having said that, it is disappointing that a fifth of UK employers expect people to be contactable at all times, under any circumstances. It’s been proven that employees who feel they are not allowed to switch off are prone to feeling stressed, underappreciated and ultimately unhappy at work, which can decrease productivity and increase the chances of them moving to another company.


Our survey confirmed our assumption that working from home is a perk that employees truly value, whilst allowing them to achieve the right balance between work and their home life. It also suggests trust – as the saying goes, treat people like adults and they will behave as such.


The notion of passive job seeking is a fascinating one, and comes off the back of candidates being contactable round the clock. Candidates will have more opportunities placed in front of them than ever before and this combined with a trend for short working stints is something that both employers and recruiters will need to adapt to.”


Other key points from the survey include:

  • 68% of employers think hot desking has a negative impact on productivity
  • 59% of companies increased flexible working in 2016
  • 48% of say their colleagues make their company a great place to work


Author: Editorial Team

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