The Main Factors Driving People to Leave their Current Role


As recruitment consultants, a key element of our day-to-day on the candidate side is holding in-depth conversations with candidates considering or actively seeking a job change. While personal circumstances vary extensively, there are several key factors which seem to emerge quite frequently. Below, we have summarised an insight into these key trends:

Culture issues: 

One of the most common reasons people look to leave their current roles is due to a poor company culture. This can appear in many different ways, but typically centres on feelings of distrust between employee and employer, colleague dispute, office gossip, high staff turnover rates, poor boundaries between work and personal life, or even a general low feeling of morale. While there is no such thing as a ‘perfect work culture’, it has become increasingly important for people to feel as though they feel comfortable in an environment for which they spend a large proportion of their lives.

Work-Life Balance:

Following the previous point, a poor work-life balance typically ties into feelings of poor company culture. The most common points indicating a desire for a better work-life balance can include feelings of burn out or a lack of motivation to work, a lack of flexibility for remote/flexible working, or an increased need to spend more time with friends and family. The pandemic in particular has rapidly fuelled the conversation around the ability to adapt certain professions to home-working, with some now valuing this is a key addition to their work-life balance.

Career Progression: 

More generally, many of our candidates discuss a desire to progress further in their career journeys and often feel they are unable to achieve this without changing organisations. Often, candidates see a very black and white progression route ahead of them, which typically requires a senior staff member to step out of their current role in order to form a space for any other employees to move upwards. This is a very common reason for a candidate looking to put themselves on the job seeking market, but it’s always worth speaking with a direct report to firstly see if there is any potential to advance into a more senior role before actively applying elsewhere.

Job Satisfaction / Fulfilment:

A lack of job satisfaction is particularly apparent for the slightly more experienced workforce, who have developed a greater depth of understanding for their key moral drivers in their overall lives. We have countless conversations with candidates who reach a certain point in their career and have the urge to move into a sector which aligns closely with their personal interests or values. If their current organisation or the role itself does not align well with these values, it can become difficult to remain motivated and typically begin the process of looking elsewhere.

Redundancy / Threat of Redundancy:

This may seem an obvious one, but a threat of redundancy can scare an employee to the point of feeling anxious that their role may be taken away at any given point. With significant events impacting the economic growth of organisations or even entire sectors, whispers of redundancies can cause candidates to panic and begin the process of ‘jumping before they’re pushed’. More plainly, if a candidate is made redundant, they will typically start looking for a new role straight away.

Relocation / Lifestyle change:

On the more logistical side, some candidates simply need to change their jobs as they are looking to relocate. This can involve a partner finding a new job, or even the hunt for a different life overseas. Some organisations have different bases to choose from or can even facilitate transitioning to a fully remote version of their role. However, if this isn’t an option, most candidates will look to change jobs entirely.

These are just some of the most common reasons for transitioning jobs for the current market of candidates that are open to work. If we’ve missed any, what are some further trends you’ve seen as of late, or what have your own drivers been in the past?

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