Post-Covid wanderlust threatens over half of Midlands’ talent pool- study

18 November 2021

The desire to travel after the pandemic and Brexit could see the Midlands’ small businesses face a major workforce shortage as employees rush to leave the country for permanent overseas residence, as revealed by people management platform Employment Hero.

53 per cent of workers in the Midlands are considering taking a job overseas, with the main motivator being to travel. Two fifths (51 per cent) of the Midlands’ employees are currently looking at international positions because they know that they can earn a higher salary, while 29 per cent feel that there are better career opportunities overseas. 13 per cent say they are bored with their current location.

When questioned, 43 per cent of employees across the UK said a salary increase would convince them to remain in the UK in their current role, while over a quarter (26 per cent) named a promotion or more rewards (25 per cent) as enough to make them stay put. Just over a fifth (22 per cent) would remain for a bonus or the introduction of a bonus structure.

A change in management would see 20 per cent of British employees reconsider their current international job search.

The data points to two clear, urgent strategies that must be adopted in order to retain staff:

  •     Demonstrate appreciation for employees: Through salary increases, performance reviews and management updates
  •     Pivot to a global hybrid working model: By embracing a ‘work from anywhere’ model, which has become more desirable in the past two years

Ben Thompson (pictured), CEO at Employment Hero, said: “This research poses a severe threat to businesses amid Britain’s worst labour shortage in decades. With over half of the UK’s workers seriously considering moving out of the country, this should be a major concern for British businesses.

With global movement restrictions easing again, the call of international travel is being heard loudly across the UK’s workforce, who have worked so hard throughout the pandemic, and experienced the same uncertainty, stress and unease as business owners.  

"Priorities are evolving, and people want to balance their work life with one that opens up opportunities to learn new cultures and languages, live in new environments, and explore the world now that this is a possibility once again.

“The anxiety around job security is falling away. Employees are aware that job vacancies are growing as the economy strengthens once again and that more choice is becoming available to them. Business owners must act quickly to show their staff not only that they are valued, but that their companies are ready and equipped to accommodate the skyrocketing demand for the hybrid work model, if they wish to work elsewhere.

“This is the only way that UK businesses will be able to hold on to their valued staff and continue on the road to economic recovery.”

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