Belfast Telegraph

62% of Northern Ireland workforce will consider moving jobs in 2017 - but why?

A new survey has found that 62% of Northern Ireland workers are considering moving jobs in 2017.

The survey by NIJobfinder.co.uk of 760 Northern Ireland adults also found that 84% of the local workforce looked for a new job in 2016, while 56% would consider moving to a new city or country to land their dream job.

It will be interesting to watch the impact of Brexit develop over the coming months, and what impact it could have on overseas job prospects for Northern Ireland’s workforce, and those currently working in EU countries.

The local workforce would appear to be very open when it comes to their employment opportunities, something which Justin Rush, Director of Abacus Professional Recruitment has become very familiar with.

“It does not surprise me that the percentage of NI adults looking for jobs in 2016 was more than 80%. Increasingly, the team at Abacus have found that most professionals are rarely out of the market and constantly monitoring movements in the local market.

"The arrival of new businesses into the local market and the expansion of existing businesses generates interest and prompts ‘passive’ candidates to consider making an application. Professionals have had significant confidence in the opportunities available in the local market.”

So, what is the main driver for Northern Ireland’s workforce considering changing roles in the coming 12 months?

While salary can often be a driver for many when it comes to changing jobs, the NIJobfinder survey found that the number one reason for Northern Ireland adults seeking a new job is a lack of opportunities in their existing role.

Sixty per cent of those surveyed highlighted that a lack of opportunities is the number one reason for considering a job change.

When it comes to progressing within an existing role, the survey also discovered that 52% of Northern Ireland’s workforce have never received a promotion, something that may indicate a lack of opportunity of career progression within the local economy.

Mr Rush said: “It may be surprising to some that reward is not the number one reason for candidates moving jobs, but this is not unexpected news to a recruiter. Reward is of course important, but in the main people want to undertake worthwhile work, be recognised for that work and know that they will ultimately progress.

"A lack of opportunity to progress is nearly always mentioned when my team speak with candidates entering the marketplace.”

The other factors that could prompt NI employees to consider changing jobs are no pay rise in 2 years (37%), being overlooked for a promotion (31%), falling out with their manager (24%) and late payment of wages / salary (22%).

While pay is not the main issue for the local workforce when it comes to moving jobs, 64% did explain that they would be happier in their current role with better pay. Of those who completed the survey, 36% currently feel underpaid in their job. While companies will often be restricted in what they can pay staff, as we progress through 2017 it’s important to ensure there are adequate opportunities for your workforce to grow and develop within their role. This could play a big part in reducing staff turnover during the next 12 months.

Colin Maxwell, Business Manager for NIJobfinder.co.uk says: "Our growing audience and traffic figures would substantiate these high job seeker numbers for 2016. Our users and visits to the website continue to increase month on month, but we also have a very engaged job seeker, with application rates also growing. We work with over 850 clients and have over 3,600 jobs live at any one time, covering all sectors and professions, so we envisage a very busy year ahead in 2017."

If your workforce can’t see any long-term progression opportunities in their current role, they could very well be among the 62% of workers who will consider looking around for alternatives in 2017. It’s therefore vitally important that employers provide an environment that encourages development within their workforce, allowing you to begin developing your staff from within.

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