Employers and staff feel differently about future opportunities

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While employers are feeling broadly positive about the future employee attitudes tell a different story

Employers and employees have a mismatch in attitudes towards the future, according to research from Hays.

The Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2017 guide found that employees tend to view the future in a more negative light. Almost half (45%) said they doubt they will get any opportunities for progression and 58% said they intend to leave their jobs this year. A further half (49%) are dissatisfied with their pay.

However, employers see the future of their businesses in a far more positive light. The majority (94%) of firms expect their business activity to remain the same or increase this year, with 77% of employers citing a shortage of suitable applicants as their key recruitment challenge.

The top reason for employees in HR wanting to leave their role was a lack of future opportunities (28%), followed by salary and benefits (21%).

HR professionals were also more likely (20%) than the UK average (14%) to move because of the quality of the work itself, and rated work/life balance as more important – with 30% saying it was the most important factor when considering a new role compared with the UK average of 24%.

Barney Ely, director of Hays Human Resources, said businesses are taking an optimistic outlook.

“Months on from the EU referendum it appears that UK businesses are reassured that the predicted immediate economic downturn will not materialise, and while uncertainty remains the majority positively expect their activity to increase in the coming year,” he said. “While it’s encouraging to see this positive outlook from businesses the confidence has not been passed onto staff, many of whom report the result has dented hopes for career progression."

The survey also found that salaries in HR rose by 1.2% in 2016, lower than the UK average of 1.8%. Those working in talent and resourcing enjoyed the biggest pay rises (2.8%), perhaps reflecting the challenge of filling critical roles.

“The remit of HR professionals has continued to expand, and is predicted to do so across 2017," said Ely. "To attract all-round HR talent flexible working, health, and wellbeing are likely to become a greater part of benefits packages as employees desire to pursue a better work/life balance."

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