In the face of a cooling labour market, new research from Tiger Recruitment reveals that a significant portion of UK professionals, four in 10 to be precise, are planning to embark on a job hunt in the upcoming year, primarily motivated by the pursuit of a higher salary.

The study, based on responses from 1,800 UK professionals, sheds light on the persisting trend of job mobility even in challenging economic times.

Seeking Greener Pastures

According to the findings, a substantial 44 percent of workers are contemplating changing jobs within the next year, fueled by a desire for improved financial remuneration. Notably, those who have not received a pay rise in 2023 are more likely to be among the job-seeking cohort, with a third of them considering taking on a second job to supplement their income.

However, the quest for a better salary is not the sole driver; factors such as work-life balance and benefits also weigh heavily on professionals’ decisions to explore new opportunities.

Financial Strain and Second Jobs

While 51 percent of workers received a pay rise in the past year, only 19 percent witnessed their salaries increase in alignment with inflation. In response to these financial challenges, half of the employees have either already taken on a second job or additional freelance work (22%) or are contemplating doing so (28%).

Surprisingly, high earners are not immune to this trend, as one in five of those considering extra work earns an annual salary of £50,000 or above.

Employer Support Lacking

The research by Tiger Recruitment indicates that a lack of cost-of-living support from employers is contributing to the surge in second jobs. Astonishingly, 42 percent of those forced to supplement their income receive no assistance from their employers in coping with rising costs. This contrasts with a third of employees overall who face a similar lack of support.

Employers who do provide assistance predominantly offer a pay rise for all staff (26%), greater flexibility for homeworking to reduce commuting costs (14%), or a one-off payment or cost-of-living bonus (also 14%).

Money Matters but Isn’t Everything

While salary remains the top priority for 82 percent of jobseekers, the importance of work-life balance has climbed to the second position in employee priorities, indicating the sustained significance of hybrid working arrangements. Additionally, benefits have surged from eighth to third place, with only 15 percent of employees expressing satisfaction with their current package.

Insights and Future Trends

David Morel, CEO of Tiger Recruitment, shares insights into the evolving job market landscape, “Despite the current market uncertainty, many people feel the only way to secure the salary they need to cope with rising costs is by changing jobs or taking on extra work.” Morel predicts a potential shift in the job market in the coming year as year-end performance reviews approach. With workers expecting salary increases, employers may face challenges meeting these expectations, potentially leading to an influx of jobseekers.

To mitigate the risk of talent drain, Morel advises employers to focus on providing soft benefits and supporting their employees’ work-life balance. Such measures, he suggests, will help maintain workforce motivation and loyalty, even if immediate pay increases aren’t feasible.

As the dynamics of the job market continue to evolve, these findings provide valuable insights into the challenges and motivations influencing the decisions of both jobseekers and employers in the current economic landscape.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.