New Year, New Job?

It’s no secret that the new year, ‘fresh start’ effect is a catalyst for self-reflection and personal resolutions, but what if we told you a similar phenomenon is happening in the job market?

From “The Great Resignation” to “quiet quitting”, the priorities of employees and job seekers have undeniably changed since the start of the pandemic in 2020, with a heightened interest in work-life balance and more competitive benefits. But with the added complexity of a cost of living crisis, employers are facing even more pressure when attracting and retaining talent.

With economic uncertainty comes a bigger concern for financial stability, with almost three in four people in the UK worried about their financial situation. For instance, many employees will be expecting salaries to match up to inflation, as well as increased transparency and fairness in remuneration.

According to Sarah Marrs, Director of QualtricsPay has always been a key hygiene factor for employees, and, unsurprisingly, we’re seeing them place even more importance on it this year. Businesses will need to find ways to address this importance, particularly for their high performers. With constrained budgets (…) getting really clear about the fairness of pay and performance evaluation will be beneficial”.

This economic instability also comes with a recession-fuelled hesitancy to change jobs, which could temporarily play in favour of employers – but only as long as they make active efforts towards developing and offering a solid benefits package.

What do workers expect in 2023?

Despite remuneration remaining the first detail people will look for in a job advert, it’s important to remember that salaries and bonuses are not the only ways to attract or retain talent. Indeed, the days of a bare-minimum-25-day-leave-and-3%-pension-contribution deal are over.

If there is one thing we’ve witnessed when speaking with candidates in the past couple of years, it’s the higher turnover and general staff disengagement linked to poor work-life balance that concerns them. Even if you’re scaling down your hiring plans or shrinking your recruitment budget ahead of a potential recession, we cannot emphasise enough the importance of a supportive benefit package, including things such as:

  • A hybrid work environment. Allowing 2-3 days of home-working is slowly becoming a standard in several industries.
  • Flexible working. Being able to adapt your working hours around personal commitments is a deal-sealer for many people.
  • Wellness-related benefits. From physical and mental to financial health, a wish for better work-life balance inevitably comes with a desire to invest in ones’ wellness. Consider absorbing some of these typical benefits so that the burden of inflation and higher premiums does not fall onto your staff.
  • Training opportunities: While the prospect of covering the cost of educational courses or industry conferences might be daunting, don’t underestimate the power of learning and development for your organisation. Whether it’s for hard or soft skills, offering self-improvement opportunities will benefit your organisation in the long term when you reap the rewards of investing in your people.
  • Value-based award schemes: offering reward schemes, and especially those based on aligned personal values, will be one of the top ways of retaining staff in 2023. 63% of employees are likely to stay for an additional 3 or more years when they feel they relate to their organisation’s values and are 7% less likely to be at risk of burnout.

Benefits to leave behind in 2022

While we’ve considered the above benefits to be employer “green flags”, it’s worth mentioning that some others might now be considered obsolete from a candidate perspective. Some of these “check the box” benefits may include:

  • Unlimited time off. Instead, how about offering the option to purchase or sell annual leave?
  • Gym memberships and shop discounts. While these are nice-to-haves, they’re simply not as impactful as they were before and realistically – nothing a competitive salary wouldn’t be able to cover.
  • Office perks like “pizza Fridays” and socials. Similarly, these are kind of expected, almost to the point of not being considered a plus from a job seeker perspective!

Not sure where to start?

If you’re unsure about where your recruitment strategy is heading in 2023, make sure to kickstart the year by speaking to one of our specialists at Sitka Recruitment. Simply email us at, call us at 029 2048 4520 or get in touch with us by clicking the button below.

To find out how we can work with you, please drop us a line