A new study of 5,000 UK workers has revealed that almost a quarter (22 per cent) have bought into the ‘new year, new job’ mindset and want to kickstart 2024 with a new role. A busy end to 2023 beckons as 55 per cent of respondents say they will start applying before the New Year so they can start as soon as possible come January.

The quarterly Page Pulse study, commissioned by recruiter Michael Page, part of FTSE 250 PageGroup, serves as a reminder to hiring managers that now is the perfect time to be upping recruitment efforts to secure the best talent.

Competition will likely increase in the coming weeks as more than half (51 per cent) of those involved in hiring – who were also polled as part of the survey – want to get the ball rolling in the Autumn so that their new recruits can “hit the ground running” in the New Year.

Amongst other benefits of having a new joiner start in January, 36 per cent of hiring decision-makers stated that it gives new employees the chance to start in their role well-rested after the holiday break, and a further 30 per cent pointed to their ability to get stuck in with calendar year planning.

“We know that people like to make New Year’s resolutions and it feels like the natural time to make a big change,” said Doug Rode, managing director UK&I at Michael Page. “In fact, smart businesses will be thinking about hiring now so that new starters can kick off in January in order to get maximum impact for the new year. That means that the savviest hiring managers are likely to be locking down their new recruits now.”

The research also shone a light on why starting a new job in January is a popular ambition amongst workers. More than half (53 per cent) said the new year represents a new start, which makes it the perfect time to embark on the next chapter of their career. On top of that, 38 per cent think it is beneficial to start a new role in January as it allows them to set goals for the year ahead.

Hiring managers should take note that money is talking louder than ever before, with the highest proportion of workers (26 per cent) expecting a healthy 5-10 per cent salary increase in their next role. Meanwhile, a significant 13 per cent said they would expect a hefty 30-40 per cent salary hike in their next offer.

Working styles matter to job seekers too, with 60 per cent keen to consign the 9 to 5 to history by applying to companies with flexible start and finish times. A further 44 per cent are actively seeking out firms with four-day working weeks.

Additionally, almost half of workers (48 per cent) have come to realise they will need to seek a new job in order to climb the corporate ladder, with this ambition underpinning their 2024 job hunt. However, a huge 45 per cent of job seekers would be tempted to stay put if they received a counteroffer from their existing employer.

Doug Rode added: “A quarter of the UK workforce are set on starting afresh next year when it comes to their career. And there is plenty of opportunity out there, with almost a million jobs still available in the UK according to recent ONS data.

“We see a lot of competition in January for roles with many workers trying to realise their resolutions but what candidates – and some businesses – may not realise is that October can be a brilliant month to get on the front foot with their search and beat the post-Christmas rush.”

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