SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s workforce is on the march.

Almost half the nation’s employees are planning to look for a new role over the next year. Forty per cent intend to go job hunting in the next six months and 15 per cent are already actively searching.

That’s according to a national survey of 1000 respondents by people management platform Employment Hero.

The Employee Movement and Retention Report also reveals that of those workers not looking to move roles, 20 per cent believe it too risky to do so due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

However as lockdowns and restrictions continue to lift between now and the end of the year, this portion say they will likely join the pool of job seekers.


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Based on the findings, two thirds of 18-24 year olds are hoping for a fresh start within 12 months, as are 64 per cent of those aged 25-34 and 56 per cent of those 34-44.

Younger workers also appear to be more proactive, with 38 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 35 per cent of 25-34 year olds having already spoken to a recruiter in the past six months.

At senior employment levels, 55 per cent of managers and senior executives say they intend moving roles within the next 12 months.

“Handing out pay rises is not always feasible … but if businesses can afford to give their workers a salary increase, now is the time for them to take action,” said Employment Hero chief people officer Alex Hattingh.

“I’m sure a small salary increase would be employees’ preference to a lavish Christmas party, and may even keep them motivated and feeling loyal.”

Of the respondents who said they were looking to move on, 31 per cent identified a lack of career opportunity as the top reason for wanting to leave.

Thirty per cent reported the absence of a pay rise and 26 per cent said a lack of appreciation or recognition was a contributing factor.

Poor company culture was the fourth most common overall reason respondents cited as a motivator for job seeking, at 21 per cent.

Two in five Australian workers reported that they would consider taking a job overseas once borders opened, with the big motivator being to travel (46 per cent).

When asked what initiatives would encourage them to stay in their current role, 47 per cent nominated a salary increase, 25 per cent a promotion, 22 per cent more rewards and recognition and 21 per cent extra training and development.

Ms Hattingh says it might be better for businesses to shuffle funds now to stay in line with industry standards than cop the costs later.

“This is especially true for the 30 per cent of workers whose pay has not been reinstated after receiving a pandemic pay cut,” she said.