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One in ten employees are actively seeking other work

Half would consider another employer

In 'A Worker's Journey', SD Worx investigated the work situation of around 5,000 employees in the European countries of Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The uncertainty associated with the coronavirus crisis has not stopped employees from looking for opportunities at other companies. Almost three out of ten would consider another job with another employer. In addition, more than one in five would like different job content at another employer on a temporary basis. As an example, they want to try something new through an exchange with another company. This means that in total, almost half are open to changing employer.

    One in four are looking for something else

    This doesn't mean that they are all actively looking for another employer, however. More than one in four take a look at vacancies. Almost 16% are passive and sporadically affect the labour market without really going any further, whereas more than one in ten are actively seeking a new job. It is mainly young people who search the labour market in a targeted manner: 24% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 16% of 25 to 34-year-olds are currently applying for new roles. From the age of 35 upwards, this percentage gradually reduces to an average of 10% and below. 

    French and German employees are most likely to look for another job (whether actively or passively), at 29%. In Belgium, this figure stands at 26%, while it is 25% in the United Kingdom. In the Netherlands, it stands at 22%.

      Salary package remains top priority

      Companies should now be more vigilant and pay extra attention to their employees. SD Worx looked into the main reasons why employees would consider switching. One in five consider the salary and fringe benefits to be the most important factor in changing employers. 

      The working environment is ranked second, with 16% stating this as the main reason for changing jobs. Job content comes in in third place (13%), while job security (7%), flexible work arrangements (6%) and growth opportunities (6%) are other reasons most frequently put forward by employees as a decisive argument for changing employers. 

      "The scarcity in the labour market is clearly being felt", says Cathy Geerts, CHRO at SD Worx. "Companies are struggling to find the right profiles and the economy is running at full speed , so there are large numbers of vacancies. Employees are aware of the opportunities that lie ahead, so employers are advised to invest extra time and energy in employer branding. Having the basics in order, having a smooth payroll and motivating pay policy, creating a pleasant working atmosphere and offering the right match between person and job content are the aspects that clearly matter the most", says Cathy Geerts.

      Although around 25% of employees are keeping an eye on what work opportunities are emerging, only one in three find it attractive enough to actually make a move. The differences between countries vary enormously in this respect. The labour market in the Netherlands seems to be the easiest in which to change employers. Almost half (49%) think that switching is easy. In Germany, that figure stands at 35%. The numbers are lower than average in Belgium (29%), the United Kingdom (27%) and France (21%). 

        About the survey

        To gain a better understanding of the employee’s entire employee journey and work experience at European level, HR and payroll specialist SD Worx commissioned a survey. This included input from regular employees, self-employed persons, seconded staff and temporary workers. The survey was conducted among 5,000 employers from five countries and covered the entire recruitment process as seen by the employees. This includes attracting new employees, recruitment, onboarding, carrying out the work, development and career advancement, remuneration and offboarding. The survey dates back to April 2021 and took place in the following countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The survey included both smaller and larger companies across various industries.