Survey reveals rising confidence of UK workers

JobsCompetitive pay and benefits are the most important requirements of a new employer, before job security, according to new research from recruiter Randstad. In 2012, 27 per cent of people said long-term job security was the most important factor in choosing to work for a specific company – more than any other issue, but this has now fallen to 16 per cent, the lowest it has been in three years. Mark Bull, Randstad’s UK CEO, said: “The UK’s workforce appears much more bullish. In 2011 and 2012 the number one priority for people was job security – now it is salaries and benefits.”

In the survey of 7000 UK adults, 18 per cent of respondents said a competitive salary and employee benefits was the most important factor in picking an employer, compared to only 11 per cent in 2012 and 12 per cent in 2011. The research reveals strong variation in happiness with current job and pay across industry sectors. People working in the utilities sector are the happiest employees in the UK with 96 per cent happy with their jobs and 62 per cent happy with their pay. They are followed by those in insurance (87 per cent happy overall, 90 per cent happy with pay), law, property, aviation and financial services. (See table 1).

At the other end of the spectrum are accountants and those in retail. Just 42 per cent of accountants are happy with their job and only 35 per cent happy with current pay. In retail only 51 per cent of respondents describe themselves as happy overall and just 32 per cent happy with their pay. People working in the education, health care, construction, engineering and automotive industries are also less happy than the general working population.

Mark Bull added: “With skills shortages intensifying as the UK’s restrictive migration policies take hold, employers need to work harder to attract potential candidates who are being less moderate in their salary expectations than they have been for years. It’s no longer enough to rely on rock solid financials if you want to attract top talent.”

by Sara Bean