'Needs can go unmet' | One in five HR practitioners will switch jobs this year, survey reveals

One in five HR practitioners will switch jobs this year, survey reveals

Around 22% of HR professionals are looking to change jobs within the coming year, according to a new report.

The survey, which had 163 HR practitioners as respondents, revealed that one in ten people were actively seeking a new employer and were likely to switch soon.

44% said they would be open to changing jobs but hadn’t made plans to, while only 34% said they were happy to stay in the role they were currently in for at least another year.

The report also revealed that HR professionals between 35 and 44 years old appear to be the most discontented with their current job role – nearly a third (30%) of this group were very likely to be moving to a new role. This is compared to 15% of 25- to 34-year-olds and 20% of those over the age of 45.

Why are HR practitioners discontent?

For those who said they would be willing to change jobs, the main reason for wanting this change was a lack of opportunity for job growth.

42% of respondents said they wanted more opportunities to excel in their current role such as management responsibilities, opportunities for promotion or career progression. Alternatively, 39% cited a desire to improve their work-life balance as a reason for wanting to switch jobs.

“It’s not uncommon for some HR professionals to feel overlooked when it comes to their own training and career development. They often spend so much time focusing on the rest of the business that their needs aren’t always prioritised and can go unmet,” says Claire Williams, chief people officer at Ciphr who carried out the research.

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“There may also be an assumption that, because they work in HR, they would naturally action their own development needs and apply best practice to themselves. This research is a good reminder to employers of the importance of supporting their HR team’s career aspirations, if they want to increase their chances of retaining them.”

Desires for a higher pay cheque was only the third most popular reason HR workers want to switch jobs, illustrating shifting needs of employees in the UK workforce. Despite this, 31% of respondents said they feel underpaid – an issue for many workers considering economic strain.

As for those who have already found new work, 20% of respondents were new to their role and had started in the last few months due to wanting higher salaries because of the cost-of-living crisis.

Another reason HR workers want to leave their job is dissatisfaction with poor leadership – a quarter of respondents said this was on their mind when thinking about going to a new employer.

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Williams continues: “While people obviously want to feel financially rewarded for the skills and experience that they bring to an organisation, they also want to feel invested in. They want to know that their employer appreciates and values them and that there are clearly defined training and development routes and promotion opportunities available to them. Because, if an employer is not doing what they can, where possible, to meet their worker’s current needs and priorities – such as providing good career progression, effective leadership, or a better work-life balance – it’s likely that another organisation will."

To make HR practitioners feel more valued, management in HR and the wider company should prioritise opportunities for career progession and learning and development. Williams says this can be achieved from the way you structure your teams: “Offering opportunities for career development can be challenging at times. Small team sizes, for example, can make it tricky to offer typical, vertical career progression.

“Therefore, employers and HR leaders should consider structuring their teams in a way that enables cross-specialist learning and upskilling, or involvement in wider business projects to build commercial awareness and a broader understanding of the organisation as a whole. This will both enrich the job as well as improving their HR capability in the longer term.”

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