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81% looking to change jobs, reveals Nigel Wright survey

Nigel Wright Group’s salary survey for the UK is specifically designed to provide insight into the salaries commanded by professionals within the consumer sector.


This year’s survey has been compiled from the responses of respondents who completed its online questionnaire in the first quarter of 2017 as well as data from its database of candidates. The survey represents a cross-section of respondents with the following profile:


  • Consumer sub-sector: Advertising and media; clothing, footwear and accessories; consumer electronics; food & drink; health & beauty; home construction / DIY; retail; telecommunications; toys & games, travel & leisure, sports/sporting goods, warehousing & logistics services;
  • 77% of respondents are educated to degree level or above; 20% have a Master’s degree and 1% have a PhD;
  • 34% have been in their current position less than two years, 32% for between two and five years, 29% for between five and ten years and 5% for 10 or more years.


A summary of the key findings are as follows:


  • Job satisfaction by job level: UK respondents were more likely to have high levels of job satisfaction compared to some of their European counterparts. Over a fifth (22%) said they were dissatisfied but 60% said they were either moderately or very satisfied. Executive (C-suite & board level) unsurprisingly display the highest levels of job satisfaction.


  • Job satisfaction by discipline: Job satisfaction by discipline and the number of hours people were working were also examined. Operations and supply chain professionals are less happy in their jobs than other disciplines. People working the longest hours show more job dissatisfaction.


  • Leaving current employer: 81% said that they would anticipate changing jobs. Over a third (36%) said that they expect to change jobs within the next six months and over a quarter (27%) in the next 18 months. Money is the top motivation for people to change jobs internally and externally. Interestingly, remuneration is not the key reason quoted in the other European surveys. The opportunity to experience new challenges is also a persuasive factor for employees considering their next move.


  • Salary increases: As part of their last salary review over half of respondents (52%) received an increase of less than 2%, with 19% having no change in their salary. There is a slight element of positivity regarding this year’s annual raise with 47% anticipating an increase of at least 2%. This information should be considered in relation to our other findings that 81% of our UK respondents anticipate that they will change jobs and that over 60% would be prepared to move for an increase in salary.


  • Employee benefits: Respondents felt that the three most important employer benefits as part of a remuneration package were a personal bonus (48%), a company pension (47%) and flexible working (36%). For women, flexible working is more important than a personal bonus in an overall remuneration package, and 64% (compared to 27% of men) said that it was one of the top three benefits.


  • Bonuses: Overall 90% of those surveyed receive some form of benefit or bonus. The most common being healthcare (82%), a company bonus (79%) and a car allowance (73%). The majority of our sample (63%) in full time employment have between 21 and 25 days holiday a year with only 4% having over 31 days. Respondents are anticipating a decrease in guaranteed, personal and company bonuses. However, the size of the bonuses is slightly higher than those in other European countries.


  • Pension: There is an average of 3.4% contribution from the employer with the recipient contributing less (2.9%). Only 25% said they were not concerned with the size of their pension pot, with 15% admitting that they were very concerned. Overall, 75% of people have some level of concern which is clearly an issue for the future.


  • Flexible working: Seven out of ten respondents (73%) work for a company that offers some kind of flexible working – the most common being working from home (60%) followed by part-time hours (31%) and flexi-time (28%).


  • Working away from home: We found that 52% spend at least one night away from home. 44% average one or two nights away per week, and 8% are spending at least three nights away from home (although 70% of those spending 3 nights away are earning £80,000 or more). The figures show an unsurprising correlation between higher salaries and time away from home.


  • Skills shortages: Over a third (38%) of respondents felt that there were skill shortages at their place of work. When asked for information about these skill shortages, whilst the majority cited specific operational skills, 25% highlighted managerial and leadership skill shortages and 20% mentioned sales & marketing skill shortages. The actions most cited to correct skill shortages were increasing training budgets and recruiting from other industries. Only 14% said that their employers had recruited workers from abroad.


  • Qualities needed to be successful: Respondents were asked to select what qualities they felt were the most important for those working in the consumer sector. Being an excellent communicator (75%), being flexible and adaptable (74%), having the ability to think strategically (68%) and having great people skills (68%) were considered the most significant. Interestingly, only 36% of our sample cited networking skills as a quality needed for success.


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