Aussie workers are planning to leave in droves: Here’s why

·3-min read
Australian currency and a crowd of people walking to represent Australian workers and their pay.
A huge number of Aussie workers are on the hunt for a new job. (Source: Getty)

The Great Resignation hit Aussie companies back in August last year, and it hasn’t slowed down, with thousands of workers planning to move jobs this year.

New research from Robert Half found three in four workers were considering a new job in the second half of 2022 - whether that be because they were actively looking or would just jump on the right opportunity if it presented itself.

In fact, 44 per cent of employees said they were currently looking, or planning to look, for a new role in the second half of this year, with another 31 per cent saying they would consider a new job if the right offer came along.

But why are so many workers looking for something new, especially given the worrying economic circumstances we are in?

The answer is mostly money.

The search for a higher salary

There is fierce competition between employers to fill vacant positions, and candidates are aware of their bargaining power.

The Robert Half survey found 48 per cent of workers were using the current employment opportunities to leverage for a higher salary.

The main reasons professionals are looking for a new job are:

  • Salary is too low - 48 per cent

  • Lack of career-progression opportunities - 37 per cent

  • Unhappiness with job content - 30 per cent

  • Lack of flexibility (teleworking, hybrid work, flexible working hours) - 25 per cent

  • High workload - 23 per cent

“The labour market still favours the worker and it is a great time to explore the job market and take advantage of opportunities that offer better pay, a greater challenge and more flexibility," Robert Half director Andrew Brushfield said.

But Brushfield warned that job-hopping may not necessarily be the best idea for those just looking for better pay.

"While rising inflation rates position remuneration as an employee’s primary concern as it relates to their work life, salary alone is a fragile reason to take on a role, particularly for a lateral move,” he said.

“Career progression can often accelerate remuneration faster than job hopping between incremental offers, while the negative impact of poor work-life balance, toxic company culture, or repetitious workload will quickly outweigh the perks of a salary bump.”

Why should you stay in your current job?

Just one-quarter (25 per cent) of respondents said they had no plans to change roles in the next six months.

The main reasons these professionals were intending to stay with their current company were:

  • Flexibility – 53 per cent

  • Relationship with managers and co-workers – 42 per cent

  • Competitive salary – 37 per cent

  • Job content – 35 per cent

  • Company culture – 35 per cent

“We are at the juncture of extreme labour markets – from the disruption of the pandemic, to one of the tightest labour markets on record, and the threat of a cyclical downturn on the horizon,” Brushfield said.

“But the core principle of strong talent management remains the same: listen to your employees.

“In this market, even passive jobseekers are at flight risk, so it's crucial for companies to understand and address employees' priorities before they even contemplate a career move.”

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