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New Year, New Job?

New Year, new job? Half of all employees will be looking for a new position in 2017 – but many could be incentivised to stay.

  • Itchy feet most common among 25-34 year-olds (67%)
  • Over half looking to move (54%) want better pay; others driven by external factors like low returns on savings (21%)
  • Nearly half (46%) of those looking to leave could be incentivised to stay, potentially saving employers more than £28,000 each in recruitment fees
  • More than two in five (44%) employees looking for a new job are unhappy with their benefit provision
  • A third (33%) believe Brexit will make it harder to find a new job

As many as 17 million people1 could be looking for a new job in 2017, as new research from Canada Life Group Insurance reveals half of employees will be looking for a new job in the New Year. Younger workers aged 25-34 are most likely to have itchy feet, with two thirds (67%) looking to switch jobs in 2017.

Better pay is the most common reason for considering a new position, with more than half (54%) of employees looking for a new job next year hoping to receive more money. Meanwhile, one in four (24%) want a change in career direction, while the same proportion (24%) are seeking better career prospects.

External factors have also driven the job hunt. More than one in five (21%) say their decision to move jobs was influenced by low returns on savings, while 20% also say the rise in inflation has contributed to their decision.

Although there is considerable appetite among staff for a fresh start, a third (33%) of those looking to move believe the vote for Brexit will make it harder to find a new job. Only 13% believe the referendum result will make it easier to find work, flagging future concerns about the jobs market.

Employees seeking a new job could be incentivised to stay

In a positive sign for employers, nearly half (46%) of staff looking to move admit they could be incentivised to remain in their current role, rising to 62% of 25-34s. Improved pay is the most effective way to convince someone to stay, with 57% of employees looking to change jobs saying they could be retained in this way. This represents a huge opportunity for employers, who face costs of more than £28,000 in recruitment fees and lost productivity when hiring replacement staff.2 Reassessing an employee’s pay packet or benefit offering could incentivise them to stay for a fraction of the cost.

Flexible working is also a benefit that could convince workers to remain at a company: excluding better pay, three fifths (60%) of those looking to move would be tempted to stay in their current roles if they were offered this. In addition, over two fifths (44%) of those looking to move are unhappy with their current benefit provision, presenting a key opportunity for employers who want to improve staff retention.

Employee benefits play an important role in staff retention and recruitment

Among those unhappy with their current benefit provision, three quarters (74%) agree it plays a role in their decision to look for a new job, with 29% claiming it plays a significant role.

Poor benefit provision and lack of communication surrounding benefits also hinders staff retention. Nearly a quarter (24%) of people looking to switch roles receive no employee benefits, while a similar proportion (27%) has never had their employee benefits communicated to them.

Group Income Protection (GIP) and Group Critical Illness (GCI) are two examples of benefits that attract staff to a company. One in five (22%) employees looking for a new position say being offered GIP would entice them to move jobs, while a quarter (24%) cite GCI as a benefit that could encourage them to look to work elsewhere.

Paul Avis, Marketing Director of Canada Life Group, comments:

“The start of the New Year acts a natural prompt for many employees to consider their futures. Employers must be aware that members of their workforce could be tempted to head for the door, although offering the right benefits package can help prevent organisations from losing valuable staff. With the cost of replacing each employee pegged at more than £28,000, it is far more cost-effective to offer an improved benefits package and keep the talent you have already invested in.

“It’s time for employers to recognise that employee benefits – and crucially, effectively communicating their availability – are effective retention tools in the war for talent. Products like GIP and GCI demonstrate to staff that their employer values their wellbeing and cares about their financial security, making them more inclined to stay. With low associated costs – for example, the cost of a GIP policy can start at an average of just 0.25% of salary roll – employers can keep their most valued staff for a fraction of the price of replacing them, while also improving their chances of success when it comes to hiring new talent.”


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Canada Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Canada Life International Limited and CLI Institutional Limited are Isle of Man registered companies authorised and regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.

Canada Life International Assurance (Ireland) DAC is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Stonehaven UK Limited and MGM Advantage Life Limited, trading as Canada Life, are subsidiaries of The Canada Life Group (U.K.) Limited. Stonehaven UK Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. MGM Advantage Life Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.