• After months of labour shortages, candidate activity is now expected to rise, with 26% of UK workers actively job hunting, while 6% have already handed in their notice.
  • Industry switching is set to increase, with 75% of jobseekers reporting they are more likely to consider working in a different industry following Covid-19.
  • Even before Covid-19, industry switches were not unusual; since 2015, 52% of job changes have been to a new industry, according to analysis of 4.2 million job changes from Totaljobs’ new free, interactive Career Change Tracker.

New research from Totaljobs reveals that over 2 million UK workers are planning on changing jobs before Christmas. In fact, 6% of the UK workforce are already on their notice period, whilst a further 26% actively job hunting as the labour market kicks into gear and workers plan their next career move.

Totaljobs has analysed more than 4.2 million job changes from 2015 onwards, and surveyed nearly 4,500 jobseekers from the Totaljobs database alongside 2,000 UK workers via Opinium, to provide the UK’s most comprehensive overview of career change trends.  

For employers wanting to learn more about trends in career changes over time, the industries people are moving between, as well as retention rates across sectors, see Totaljobs’ free interactive Career Change Tracker here

The research shows not only an increase in people starting new jobs in the months ahead, but an expected rise in industry-hopping, with 75% of jobseekers from the Totaljobs database reporting they are more likely to consider working in a different industry following Covid-19. For those that already switched industry during the last year, less than one in five (18%) plan to move back to their previous industry.

Retention and loyalty vary significantly by industry

Totaljobs’ analysis of 4.2 million job changes from 2015 onwards shows that 52% of job moves involve switching to a different industry altogether, while 48% remain in the same industry. Some sectors report higher retention rates than others, with Totaljobs’ career changes analysis revealing people in HR are more likely to stay within the sector when securing a new job (64%), followed by Design (62%) and IT (62%). Looking at the total number of job moves within each industry, the following sectors saw the highest proportion of people leaving: The Military (47%), Advertising (42%), Public Sector, Farming and agriculture and Charity (all 41%).

How loyal someone is to their employer also varies significantly between industries, with Public Sector and Policing staff staying with the same employer for an average of 8.9 years, followed by Arts and Entertainment employees (8.8 years on average). At the other end of the scale, Marketing and PR employers see staff stay with the company for the shortest amount of time, at 5.5 and 5.6 years respectively.

Cross-industry career switching set to increase

Looking ahead, a quarter of workers (25%) plan to change jobs in the next two years, with an estimated 3.5 million planning on changing industry. When looking at specific industries, 49% of those working in construction are actively looking for jobs or are on their notice period, along with 41% of those in administration and 38% in IT.

When considering the motivations for future career moves, the majority (57%) of jobseekers cited work-life balance as the key reason, above a higher salary (52%) and learning new skills (38%). The impact of the pandemic on work priorities can also be seen in that over three quarters of people (76%) say work-life balance is now more important to them.

Career changes in the Covid-era

Candidate research showed a third (34%) of people who started work in a different industry during the Covid-era cited were driven to switch industries out of necessity – reflecting the impact of the pandemic on business operations, consumer demand levels, and employment opportunities across the UK. For others, the desire to do something different (24%) was the main motivator, followed by better work-life balance (24%), not enjoying their role (21%), as well as to earn a higher salary, learning new skills, or due to a lack of available roles in their previous industry (all 19%).

Jon Wilson, CEO of Totaljobs said: “Our research shows that for many people, the career ladder isn’t so linear anymore; career shifts and job changes are commonplace. With Covid-19 changing our day-to-day working lives, people are increasingly searching for work-life balance, flexibility or simply for a job they can get more satisfaction out of, and they’ll look to other industries to find it.

“With a record number of job vacancies this summer, many industries who had to hit pause on their hiring in the height of the pandemic are now experiencing labour shortages, and these are likely to continue in the coming months. Businesses with an urgent hiring need should make sure they’re getting the basics right when attracting talent. Job adverts that include essential pieces of information like a clear job title, location, salary and ways of working are more likely to win applications.

“Equally, employers must be clear about what their business is bringing to the table beyond the remit of a role, whether that’s remote working, wellbeing programmes or training initiatives. Consider how you can attract the three quarters of people considering a career change, and pitch the unique benefits of your industry – especially if you can offer candidates something their previous sector couldn’t.”

By Brian