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Over a third of professionals in Manchester looking for new job despite economic uncertainty: employers paying the price for candidate confidence

Better salary, benefits and more flexibility are driving workers’ appetite to seek new role

Over a third of Manchester workers are seeking a new job, with more money, benefits and flexibility cited as the top three drivers, suggesting that the cost-of-living crisis is prompting professionals to reassess their career. That’s according to new research by specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half.

Tough climate isn’t denting candidate confidence

The company’s Candidate Sentiment Survey reveals that despite the tough economic climate, job seeker confidence is at an all-time high with 34% of those surveyed saying they were looking for a new job. This suggests that, while historically times of uncertainty have made workers cautious about moving roles, the huge pressure the cost-of-living crisis is having on households, is prompting people to explore new opportunities.

The research reveals that while salary is king, with 61% of workers in Manchester citing this as the main motivator to switch roles, up from 32% last year, people are demanding better overall packages from their employers. 39% said they want to move for better benefits and 36% are looking for a role that affords them more flexibility. This is in stark contrast to the 2022 Candidate Sentiment Survey where better benefits only ranked as the sixth biggest push factor, demonstrating the changing priorities of today’s workers in the current climate.

Catherine Henry, Branch Director, Manchester, at Robert Half, commented:

“The fact that candidate confidence is so high – particularly in a period of uncertainty when we expect to see the market shift in the opposite direction – should come as a stark warning to employers. Our research clearly shows that candidates are in the driving seat and, with skills shortages being felt across the board and showing no signs of abating, employers are facing a double-edged sword: a talent exodus on the one hand and the challenge of attracting staff without breaking the bank on the other.

“While salary is certainly driving workers’ appetite for a new job, our research clearly shows that they are also looking for a better package overall which not only includes benefits, but also a better work-life balance. Companies across Manchester need to be reassessing their overall recruitment and retention packages – to include benefits and flexibility for today’s employment landscape – as well as ensuring career development opportunities are tangible and in line with workers’ wants. Those who fail to do so will find it increasingly difficult to attract and retain resources in what is an incredible tough labour market”.


Press contact
Steph King
01582 790 705

Notes to editor

About the Research

Robert Half commissioned Opinium Research Ltd to undertake a survey of 2,000 UK employees between 23rd December 2022 and 3rd January 2023.

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world's first and largest specialised talent solutions consultancy, working to fill professional services roles at all levels within the finance and accounting, banking, technology, HR, marketing and legal sectors. The company has more than 300 staffing locations worldwide and offers hiring and job search services at

Robert Half understands that it takes time and effort to evaluate the best talent strategy for different businesses. For further independent advice to assist with your recruitment and workforce planning efforts, visit

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