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The Pulse of the Workforce: What Today’s Talent Really Wants

In our latest edition of the Beamery Talent Index survey, we spoke to workers from the US, UK, and Australia about their feelings towards work, new work trends, their employers, and preferences in their working lives.

This research revealed both an increase in confidence in the job market and greater overall job security, as well as a strong desire from employees for more learning and development and career progression opportunities at work. 

Today’s talent is looking for their employers (or potential employers) to take a genuine interest in their career growth and progression, but most companies are not equipped with the right data, tools and tech to support these changing employee expectations. 

Here’s a summary of the current sentiment of the workforce. 

Fewer workers are looking to leave their jobs this year 👀

Interestingly, we found that only 47% of workers are considering leaving their jobs in the next 12 months – down from 51% in our previous Talent Index survey. So the majority of people seem to be pretty happy with the role they are currently in. 

leaving in next 12 months

While that may be true, 76% of our respondents said that they are confident that they could find a new job within months (compared to 72% in our last survey), and 34% of them were confident that they could find a new role in as little as three months if they really needed to. 

Our data also shows that employees today are beginning to feel more secure in their jobs. We found that 32% of those surveyed said they were in some way concerned about being laid off still, but that number decreased from 37% in our last survey. 

It’s worth noting that the age group that had the most fear in this regard was 18-24 year-olds, 46% of whom had at least some level of concern about the potential of losing their jobs. This age group was followed by 25-34 year-olds, with 36% expressing concern.

What today’s talent really wants from their workplaces 💘

For the 47% who are considering leaving their jobs, priorities seem to have shifted. While salaries are still an important piece of the puzzle (and likely always will be), there are other factors that job seekers are prioritizing. 

We learned that 32% of those who are thinking about leaving their jobs want to do so because of the lack of career development and progression opportunities at their current workplace. And similarly, 29% of those who want to leave are seeking a complete career change – underscoring their desire for personal development and learning new skills


On the flip side, we also asked workers what makes them want to stay in their roles, and the number one answer may surprise you. 

46% of respondents said feeling appreciated makes them want to stay, and 45% said a positive workplace culture was a key reason. These are valuable insights for employers who have tight budgets due to the uncertain economy, and are worried about losing top talent to competing organizations. 

High salaries and pay increases aren’t the only way to engage talent – showing a little appreciation and creating a positive work environment (perhaps through upskilling opportunities) are both excellent ways to retain talent. 

Flexibility is valued, but most people are required to be in the office 🏢

Flexibility is crucial in the mind of the modern worker. Our survey revealed that the number one thing job seekers are looking for in their next role is work/life balance (62%), and another 38% specifically called out flexible or remote working options. 

Which of the below factors, if any, matter most to you when deciding if you want to apply for a position at a new organization?

looking for new job

But, even with flexibility being such a high priority for employees, our survey also found that 47% of workers are required to work in the office five days per week. And another 30% said they are required to be in the office for at least part of the week. 

And while remote or hybrid work is still preferred by most people, only 26% of our respondents said they found themselves to be more productive when working from home – which may build a case for the hybrid working model, which provides the best of both worlds: flexibility and face-to-face collaboration. 

Offering flexible working arrangements could be an extremely effective employee engagement method, which doesn’t cost the business a ton of money. You don’t have to offer flashy new (or expensive) benefits to keep your talent engaged long term. By simply offering greater flexibility around where and when work is done, your employees can achieve the work/life balance they truly desire. 

Our respondents are reinforcing that salaries aren’t everything, and there are other things they care about just as much.

Download the Beamery Talent Index Eighth Edition to learn more about what your talent wants in 2023, and how AI and Skills Intelligence can help you deliver it.