Management | Fifth of HR would leave job over poor leadership

Fifth of HR would leave job over poor leadership

A fifth (21%) of HR business partners, HR managers and other sector-specific professionals would consider leaving their job because of poor leadership, new research has found.

Yet, Randstad’s poll of almost 9,000 employees across the UK found that HR is not the only department suffering from poor quality management. Almost a quarter (24%) of customer service advisors and sales managers said that they would leave their current job because of poor leadership.

Ruth Jacobs, Managing Director at Randstad Business Solutions said that having a bad manager can severely impact an employee’s working life.

“My advice to HR professionals is, when you’re going for a job interview, don’t be afraid to ask your new boss directly what their preferred management style is. How does it fit with your preferred style? And, if you have more than one interviewer, watch how the hiring manager interacts with their colleagues,” she said.

“By paying attention to your potential new manager during the interview will help you gain a better understanding of what kind of leader they are, you wouldn’t want to leave it too late and end up with a bad boss. Lastly, try to work out whether your new boss will be the mentor and leader you’re looking for to help drive your career forwards.

“Listen to the questions they ask you and try to understand what their priorities are. If they ask about your goals and how you plan to reach them, you can assume that they have an interest in your professional development,” she added.

On the contrary, 23% of accounting and financing professionals said that poor leadership styles would drive them out of the business.

The fewest leadership objections came from trade workers such as maintenance engineers and handymen, where only 14% complained about the quality of the management style.

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However, the research did unearth some positive news for HRDs. When asked if strong management was also a reason to keep them at their current jobs, 24% of HR professionals agreed that it was.

Jacobs added: “The quality of management in HR is clearly very mixed, given leadership is both a significant reason to quit and a big reason to stay. As your career in the industry progresses, there is every chance you will be handed a management role and asked to run a team, which can take you out of your comfort zone if it’s not something you’ve done before. Yet, you will be expected to jump straight in and demonstrate the necessary leadership skills without any hitches.”

Read on to see the full table.



Property & Real estate activities (inc. facilities management)


Oil & Gas


Social work


Hospitality (inc. catering and accommodation)


Sales & Services




Retail & Wholesale


Armed Forces


Financial Services (inc. Accountancy and Insurance


Engineering occupations (inc. Design Engineers, Project Engineers)


Arts, entertainment and recreation (inc. sports/ betting activities, museums/ cultural activities


National Average


Manufacturing (i.e. manufacturing of food, beverages, household goods, electronics, clothing, petroleum, pharmaceuticals, metal etc.)


Public administration (i.e. local and national governments or international organisations


Transportation, Storage & Logistics


Education (inc. KS1, KS2, primary and secondary teachers, Tas, and SEN workers)


Construction (inc site managers, quantity surveyors, and labourers


Administrative and support services
(inc. HR professionals)


Healthcare (inc. nurses)


Information, technology and communication
(inc. developers and cyber security professionals




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