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Why demand for job security is at its highest level in five years

Economic uncertainty is dissuading would-be job seekers but employers can't get complacent.

by Jack Torrance
Last Updated: 21 Apr 2016

Britain’s workers are famously mobile compared to their cousins on the European mainland, happy to switch companies at the drop of a hat if the right offer comes along. The received wisdom is that that trend has accelerated as a generation of ambitious ‘millenials’ has crept into the workforce.

But new figures suggest that job security is an increasingly big draw. Four in ten workers plan to stay in their current jobs for the next 12 months, according to the latest CEB Global Talent Monitor, the highest level in five years. As worries over a potential Brexit and a broader global economic slow-down have emerged, it would seem workers would rather opt for the security of a stable job than take a risk.

While workers may be less willing to jump ship than before, it would be wrong to assume they are content with their current employer. The top reasons departing employees gave for leaving included being unhappy with their future career prospects, not being paid enough and dissatisfaction with their employer’s management. Others include a lack of development opportunities and recognition. Such problems will make it harder for the UK to overcome its perennial problem of low productivity. 

‘High intent to stay combined with job dissatisfaction means the UK is at risk of becoming a nation of inactive and uninspired workers,’ warned Brian Kropp, HR practice leader at CEB. ‘Employers need to counter job dissatisfaction by investing in sustained engagement strategies and looking at the ways they recognise and reward employee contribution.' So workers might be putting off that radical career switch for the time being but bosses shouldn't get complacent. 

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