Are Candidates Staying In Jobs They Hate Since Covid & Lockdown?

13th March 2023
Are Candidates Staying in Jobs They Hate?

At the start of 2023 there was a lovely influx of candidates ready to start a new year with a new job.  Now at the beginning of March it does feel as though it has reversed slightly and it’s an interesting topic to understand the bigger picture.

Like most starts to a New Year, people are ready to start a fresh and push themselves to achieve things they didn’t achieve in the previous year, including challenging themselves in a new role, starting that keep fit class and achieving key targets that will make them happier and more fulfilled.

So, let’s try to understand if people have become willing to stay in jobs they no longer enjoy, and why, since the landscape of the workplace took the most dramatic turn in decades due to the pandemic.

What’s changed since the start of the Pandemic?

The most obvious change is the beginning of increased remote working, and the overall changes this made to the way people work.  Having the ability to wake up in the morning and not face a daily commute, to spend more time with family, and be as flexible as you need to be in managing both work and homelife tasks, became very appealing to many.  The desire for flexible working arrangements has become the fastest-growing priority in recent years, and peaked just as many companies were preparing to return to in-office or hybrid working.  Which would suggest many employees value the opportunity to work from home and if not offered by a new job opportunity, then this could become a major barrier for change.

We have discussed a few times now the limited talent pool available to employers right now and the heavy competition to find the best workers, together with the importance to change the speed at which they interview and offer to candidates.  Remember companies need to fully recognise that the power dynamic has changed and workers desire more from them to move than ever before – and if they don’t offer additional incentives, then they will stay where they are, as candidates have become more selective about who they work for and the environment they are prepared to work in.


Are you offering what candidates want?

We are most definitely in a candidate driven marketplace, and one of the bigger challenges facing many industries is that companies aren’t offering what candidates want and need anymore.  This can range from pay, flexibility, health, and wellbeing, to location and benefits such as pension, free parking, medical cover and so much more.

To close that gap, it is really important for companies to focus on what they are offering people to leave their current roles and take that leap of faith.  Also recognising they can spread their net much wider if they offer remote working, giving them the ability to cover a wider talent pool geographic, for candidate searches vs candidates with an easy commute to the office.


Time to think…

Since the pandemic, and especially during the height of it, people have had more time to evaluate their personal priorities vs their work priorities.  However, whilst employers can’t always change their dynamics to suit those needs, it is very important to understand drivers of why people will move from one role to another, and one company to the next, as they may need to revaluate what they do offer, in order to attract the right people.

Monitoring the outcome of promoting a role will provide companies with information on the key criteria candidates are looking for, enabling them to adapt their recruitment process accordingly if they aren’t attracting the talent they need to maintain standards and growth within the organisation.

The change in the economic climate

Not only are we all learning to live with the effects of the pandemic on our family and work life, but we are also now facing a cost-of-living crisis, which will most definitely affect many choices in terms of where people choose to work.  So, are people staying in a job they hate purely because “better the devil you know”, “it’s safer for the time being”, or “I can save money by not commuting”  or even “my homelife is now far more important to me since the pandemic, and my job isn’t as important anymore?”. There are clearly many reasons why people are potentially not moving jobs right now, but how can employees entice them to join them and ensure any concerns they have can be met in the current climate.

The overall affects of the pandemic on the work environment are decreasing, and companies need to be clear on their working processes.  Are people going back to the office on a daily basis, is hybrid on offer, or are roles purely remote with “catch ups” everyone now and again to ensure people stay in touch?  Knowing your overall plans for the working environment for the majority of your employees is key for the longer-term picture of “how the UK office environment will look post pandemic”.

Fundamentally giving positive reasons for people to move jobs, will hopefully create a domino effect, and people will start to apply for more jobs during 2023. We are all learning what is important to us, having gone through a time none of us would have thought possible at one stage, but it did happen, and things have changed!  We just need to adjust and re-group with a clear plan as what is going to benefit all parties and provide growth and opportunity for everyone going forward – and then we need to ADVERTISE it and encourage movement and transformation.

Client Testimonials

Stay in Touch