Job security and employee confidence

In an unsettled economic environment, job security is everything. But equally, should the worst happen, it’s good to know that other options are out there. So, how do Britain’s workers think the labour market is looking right now?

The Covid crisis prompted an unprecedented shift of power in the UK labour market in 2020-22. Empowered by a combination of factors, millions of people felt free to reflect on their careers, renegotiate their terms and, if necessary, relocate and retrain. 

But the economic outlook has worsened in recent months and, as a possible downturn beckons, recruiters may no longer be as able or willing to meet candidates’ demands. 

This exclusive research, commissioned by Raconteur and conducted by Attest, looks at how UK adults feel about their job prospects; how inclined they are to seek a new employer; and which benefits and perks have the most pulling power.

The figures on job security underline the fact that we’re in something of a seller’s market for skills. Employers are desperate to hold on to their existing staff in order to avoid the expense and disruption of replacing them. This hands the advantage back to workers – for now.

Of course, if the economic situation heads south again later this year, it’s likely that more employers will be forced to resort to redundancies, having used up any financial cushion they may have had during the disruption of the third quarter of 2022. Nearly a third of workers report that their employer has already made redundancies over the past 12 months.

If redundancies do pick up again later this year, the recruitment field could become a lot livelier. However, that doesn’t seem to faze most workers. In fact, there’s a remarkable degree of confidence on display when it comes to their ability to land a new job, with nearly half of workers saying that they could easily find a new role.

One other major change in recent years relates to what workers expect from a role. Indeed, when it comes to perks and benefits, workers’ expectations are now significantly higher than they were three or four years ago. For instance, remote and hybrid working policies are now top of the shopping list when employees are looking for new roles – despite it being something very few workers had experienced pre-Covid.

In practice, these changing priorities – and particularly the popularity of remote and hybrid working – mean that any ‘great return’ to the office is probably on hold indefinitely, especially if employers want to keep staff on board through any difficult periods ahead.