THE BLOG

New Year, New Job Hunt

07/02/2014 12:27 GMT | Updated 09/04/2014 10:59 BST

One in four (26%) working adults in Britain says they have plans to look for a new job in 2014, according to a new survey by YouGov for Fairplace.

This is good news for the businesses looking to recruit, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has shown that companies intend to start hiring again in the New Year after years of cut backs and outplacement. No doubt those planning to move will be glad to hear that businesses intend to boost their numbers. After a few stagnant years the jobs market looks like it will get moving again in 2014.

However the retention of talent could be a problem for companies as their workers start looking for new pastures, managers will have to start thinking about how best to retain talent in 2014 as competitors look to grow their workforce and good people begin to look elsewhere.

Many people who have been biding their time during the downturn may start to feel more confident with the jobs market picking up, so those who are unhappy are likely to move on. Companies will need to guard against complacency and make an effort to retain their key talent by investing in training and development, and having regular career conversations with people.

It has been an easy few years for companies in this respect as cutbacks across the economy has meant that talent stayed put as other work was not always forthcoming. But if the jobs market begins to swing the other way companies who have not invested in their staff and provided enough an incentive to stay will start to see departures and more demanding applicants.

However despite widespread reports about green shoots of economic recovery, increased business confidence and an upturn in the British job market, the level of optimism doesn't appear to have spread to the British population. Only 21% of working British adults reported feeling more confident about the jobs market for 2014 than they did in 2013.

There has been a lot of talk in the media and by politicians about economic recovery and businesses certainly seem to be feeling more confident but our research shows that the average worker is not feeling as certain of recovery. The government and the media are no doubt keen for good news but for many people these first instances of economic recovery are having very little impact on their day to day lives.

There were more positive responses from younger respondents as 28% of 18-24 year olds feel more confident about the jobs market in 2014 than they did in 2013; displaying 8% more confidence than the average respondent. Nearly half (44%) of 18-24 year olds said they have plans to look for a new job in 2014 while only 18% of those aged 45-54 have plans to move jobs.

This reflects their optimism in the jobs market and could also demonstrate the fact that underemployment and unemployment are creating a more flexible younger workforce who are more likely to move jobs regularly to stay employed and advance. This could have a long term effect on the UK plc as we begin to look for the next generation of managers and senior talent and find a skills mismatch.

Meanwhile, in figures reflective of the capital's growing recovery, a quarter of Londoners (25%) said that they feel more confident about the jobs market for the coming year; and 30% of Londoners said that they had plans to look for a job in 2014, compared with only 18% in Yorkshire and Humber which could reflect reports of the capital's growing recovery.