Image: Flazingo Photos Image: Flazingo Photos

Half of workers in the UK are suffering a 'career itch' because they don't feel settled in their job, according to a survey by Monster and YouGov.

Brits are the most likely to have searched for a new role in the last month (23%), than their continental counterparts (13%). This rises to almost one third (30%) of Millennials, with 18-36 year olds the most transient population, despite feeling the most satisfied in their job (67%).

However, when it comes to getting our dream job, we’re more flexible than you might expect – with 61% of workers saying they have compromised when accepting their current role. More than a quarter (28%) took a lower salary and almost one in five (16%) found more limited opportunities than they hoped for, settling for something not quite right. While younger job seekers may be perceived to be more demanding, it is Millennials who are most likely to compromise (66%).

Only 17% of people say they want to move regularly between employers – yet, with such a high proportion of employees saying they are looking to move role, where are employers not hitting the spot?

Aside from pay, which both employers and employees recognised as the most important factor, the research highlighted a huge disparity in what employers think is important for employee satisfaction, in comparison to what employees said was important.

For UK employees in particular, making better use of skills was highlighted as hugely important – much more so than in other countries. In France and Germany, the greatest driver of job satisfaction was work-life balance, while in the Netherlands it was being given a better job title.

Job satisfaction goes beyond tangible factors such as pay and number of hours in the office. The values of the business were highlighted as hugely important by employees – far more important than whether the organisation is high profile or well known (37%).

  • 83% of employees want to work for an organization that values loyalty
  • 78% want to work for an organization where the values match their own
  • 76% want to work somewhere they feel they can make a difference
  • 67% want to work somewhere that has a powerful social and environmental conscience
Those feeling the strongest about aligning personal and professional values were 18-36 year olds - 35% strongly agreed it was essential these matched up, in comparison to 27% of other age groups.

Andy Summer, managing director for Monster UK & Ireland, said: “This research provides important insight into what makes employees and employers in the UK and across Europe tick. There is clearly a restlessness amongst workers in the UK, with a quarter searching for a role in the last month. Even the most satisfied workers, Millennials, have itchy feet and are looking to find better.

“Our research found a real disparity between what employees want, and what employers thinks matters. While pay, flexibility and work-life balance are important, it’s essential for all organisations to think about how they can nurture the skills of their people, provide strong leadership, and really articulate their business’ purpose, values and goals – especially for the younger demographic.”