By Daniel Hunter

UK job candidates are increasingly turning their backs on traditional career models post-recession, moving more frequently and looking for added benefits like flexible working.

The findings come from new research undertaken by specialist recruitment company PageGroup, and show that while candidates are focused on building a career that’s right for them,# on both a professional and personal level, businesses are behind the curve when it comes to understanding and meeting this demand.

“As candidates become more confident and bullish, and start to look at their next career moves, employers must prepare for acceleration in job activity and ultimately evolve in line with candidate perspectives,” commented Oliver Watson, Managing Director, PageGroup.

“The economic crash and subsequent impact on businesses across the globe has created a significant shift in how candidates approach their careers and what was offered by businesses five to ten years ago is no longer a draw.”

The data shows a significant increase in candidates searching for new roles, with new job applications up 71% compared to 2009 levels. This has created a war for talent on many fronts, with UK businesses struggling to compete in a limited recruitment pool.

Patterns in candidate behaviour included work-life balance and flexible working becoming more highly valued, a decline in the 'BigCo' draw with candidates no longer driven to apply for a job due to the reputation of the employer, a decrease in the number of employees willing to work in the same job for more than ten year and increased concern over company culture alongside 'bread and butter' considerations such as salary and location.