41% of Workers Will Look for a New Job in the First Half of 2022

41% of Workers Will Look for a New Job in the First Half of 2022

Job-seekers will continue searching for remote work opportunities and better pay
candidate being interviewed

The great employment shake-up doesn't appear to be ending any time soon. In fact, it may be picking up speed. According to the biannual Job Optimism Survey from human resource consulting and staffing firm Robert Half, more workers are planning to leave their jobs now than six months ago.

The new survey, which looks at worker sentiment related to current and future career prospects, found that 41% of respondents have plans to leave their current job in the first half of 2022. That number is up from just 32% who said the same thing in a separate Robert Half survey conducted six months ago.

Reasons for leaving

Salary is naturally one of the drivers for job-switching, but it's not the only motivation. According to the survey, these are the top reasons workers plan to leave:

  • To secure a salary boost (54%)
  • Better benefits and perks (38%)
  • Permanent remote work (34%)

Respondents are so motivated to leave that 28% say they would quit their current job without having another job lined up. Many respondents also note frustrations with the professional advancement opportunities at their current company, and more than one-third (34%) report that performance discussions with their manager do not help them advance toward their professional goals.

Amongst respondents, some are far more likely to leave than others. Younger employees are most likely to leave their jobs, particularly those in the age range of 18 to 24 (52%). By contrast, a quarter (25%) of workers in the 55 and over age range have plans to leave. Tenure also makes a difference, however those with two to four years are the most likely to leave (49%) followed by workers with five to nine years (46%).

According to a separate survey from Maven Clinic, parents are another group who plan to leave en masse, with 64% of parents reporting plans to leave their job as of December 2021.

Attracting talent

In the most recent Job Optimism survey, 54% of professionals say they're interested in fully remote positions in a different city or state from where they currently live.

Aside from offering remote work options, Robert Half says that companies can attract talent through other meaningful changes. In previous surveys from the firm, 66% of employees have reported wanting more flexible work schedules, which could include options like four-day work weeks and hybrid home/office schedules. Of course compensation plays a key role, too. About 1 in 3 employees told Robert Half that they would not stay in their current role if their compensation doesn't improve.

Methodology: The online survey of over 2,400 workers 18 years of age or older was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm from Nov.11-29, 2021. It includes responses from workers at companies with 20 or more employees in the U.S.