A new survey has revealed that one in two (51 per cent) in the UK plan to actively look for new jobs in the next six months. ‘Higher salary’ remains the most valued reason for wanting to move jobs at 42 per cent, followed by ‘meaningful and impactful work’ at 13 per cent.

The research, conducted by global talent services company Morgan McKinley as part of its 2024 Salary Guide, found that British workers were not happy with the benefits they received: 59 per cent being ‘neutral’, ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘highly dissatisfied’ with their packages. The top five desired benefits British workers look for in a job are: Work from home, bonus, pension, health insurance, and flexible working hours.

Despite this, 49 per cent of professionals in the UK are optimistic that they will receive a salary increase in 2024 and 70 per cent of employers plan to increase salary offers in 2024 for certain in-demand roles.

As for employers, the survey revealed that 86 per cent of organisations in the UK have found hiring ‘quite’ or ‘very’ competitive in 2023. 46 per cent have lost out on hiring new talent in the last six months as they ‘can’t compete on salary and benefits’, and 40 per cent expect ‘lack of skilled candidates available’ to be their greatest 2024 recruitment challenge.  In addition, over half (52 per cent) of UK businesses still plan to hire in the next six months.

David Leithead, COO of Morgan McKinley UK, commented: “The underlying economic gloom caused many employers to slow recruitment; the frenzy to secure new hires has been replaced by companies taking time and care to ensure the best hiring decisions are made. Despite this, the pressure to find new talent has remained, as companies look to drive ahead with change agendas, satisfy new regulatory and legal regimes, maximise commercial opportunities, and respond to turnover.

“Many employers offered inflated salaries to secure talent throughout 2021 and 2022, so it’s unsurprising that salary offers have largely normalised with fewer opportunities available.”

Leithead concluded: “No matter the macro climate, it remains true always that the right talent – that can drive progress and improvement – will remain in demand and companies will pay well to secure them. With the shortage of skilled professionals available, take steps to keep your people engaged, supported and happy; offering benefits that are meaningful to the individual’s specific situation will help here. Benefits around wellbeing and flexibility remain top of the pile.”

The Morgan McKinley 2024 Salary Guide presents up-to-date and accurate salary data for a wide range of roles across the UK, providing hiring managers with industry benchmarks when they are working out what to pay employees and giving professionals more visibility over what they can earn.

Research from 650 businesses and 3,400 professionals was conducted to find out what companies’ hiring intentions are for 2024, what the key motivators are for changing jobs, and what the expectations are for movement on salaries.

For the Morgan McKinley UK 2024 Salary Guide, visit:


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