A global survey of almost 70,000 working adults has uncovered seismic shifts in employee attitudes and motivations, with a surprising 90 per cent of global respondents, and 82 per cent of US respondents, saying they are currently open to new opportunities in the jobs market.

This Invisible Revolution has been quietly happening over the last few years and is still underway. It has culminated into a total workplace culture revolution. It is not a flash in the pan movement, but a huge shift with the potential to inflict wide-reaching, global waves in the labour market for decades to come.

Conducted globally by recruiter PageGroup, the parent company of Michael Page, Talent Trends 2023 is the largest study of skilled, white-collar professionals of its kind to date. Of the 1,707 respondents in the US, almost half (48 per cent) said they are active job seekers, either currently looking for a new role or planning to look in the next six months. A further 34 per cent are on the fence about looking elsewhere, meaning they are not ruling it out, but are waiting until the economy improves or for the right opportunity to arise.

Other notable findings from the study include:

  • Loyalty has lost its luster. The culture of long-term service to a single company is becoming an obsolete concept. People are increasingly open to exploring new opportunities, and job hopping has become the norm. For example, nine in 10 people who started a new job in the last year say they are still open to new opportunities. One in two people have changed jobs since the pandemic began.
  • Full time office workers are now in the minority.Just 34 per cent of the US workforce are working from an office space full time, while 36 per cent have flexible/hybrid arrangements and 30 per cent work remotely full time.
  • Access to information is giving job seekers a huge advantage. As a result of more time spent out of the office, it is much easier to be kept informed in real-time about job opportunities, through app notifications, email alerts, messaging apps, etc. The proliferation of hybrid working jobs means people find it easier to look for jobs — and be contacted by recruiters — whilst in the privacy of their homes.
  • The economy isn’t putting job seekers off. Openness to new opportunities isn’t dampened by the worsening global economic outlook. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between poor economic performance and an increase in the desire to look for a new job, with 57 per cent of U.S. workers agreeing.
  • Work life balance is key.Almost half (49 per cent) of people are willing to reject a promotion if they believe it will have a negative effect on their well-being.

“Businesses should be aware that the ‘Invisible Revolution’ we highlight has already happened,” Kurt Jeskulski, senior managing director at PageGroup, said. “The threat of high turnover will be a permanent fixture in the new talent era. The shift is not only a result of the pandemic, but a broader evolution of talent expectations. Workers no longer expect to stay in a role forever, but they do expect their employer to deliver where it counts. Otherwise, they will not hesitate to look elsewhere.

“How employers approach this new dynamic will prove decisive in whether they thrive or just survive in the Invisible Revolution,” he added. “A more empowered pool of professionals has emerged, and they are reshaping their relationships with their organisations along more mutually beneficial lines.

“Our report shows that there are three critical factors employers must optimise if they want to hold on to their top talent. First, salary: a fairly benchmarked, competitive remuneration package. Second, flexibility: let your people work in the way that suits them best. And third, career growth: offering top talent not just a present, but a future.”

Nicholas Kirk, CEO at PageGroup also commented: “The trends in the US mirror the sentiment of the global talent market – every region has seen a transformative change across all age groups, markets, and industries.

“It is clear there has been a universal reset of people’s relationships with their jobs. Work-life balance, a competitive salary, and strong career progression prospects have become non-negotiable, and professionals are willing to leave their current roles to secure these elsewhere.”

Kirk concludes: “These are not fleeting trends or reactionary responses to a period of turbulence. Rather, they are reshaping the workplace in a way that will subtly yet fundamentally change the way businesses attract and retain their talent.”

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