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The unfriendly working atmosphere determines 6 out of 10 Romanians to change jobs in the next year

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The PR agency MSL The Practice, part of Publicis Groupe Romania, and the recruitment platform eJobs Romania launched the study What Romanians want from a job, which analyzes the intention of Romanian employees to change employers in the next period, as well as the objectives their professional, the criteria for choosing an employer, the factors for changing the job, the elements for increasing trust and loyalty towards the employer or the preferred way of working.

“In a constantly changing labour market, we wanted to see the factors determining Romanian employees’ stay at a job or what causes them to look for new career opportunities. Of course, for most employees, the salary and benefits offered are the main reasons for choosing an employer. In recent years, however, we have noticed an increasingly obvious trend of needing emotional comfort, belonging to be part of something meaningful and not going to work just for the salary. We want to help companies, first of all, with a detailed analysis of the employer image to come up with a suitable Employer Branding strategy, and this study is a first step in this process”, said Stela ToderaČ™cu, Employer Branding Director, MSL The Practice.

From the perspective of recruiting new employees, the challenges companies face, especially in specific fields, are very high, with a narrow pool of candidates and, automatically, considerable associated costs.

This puts a lot of pressure on running programs and initiatives with immediate effect, as employees don’t seem to have much patience to wait for the employer to find the proper measures to retain them. In addition to standards with the fastest possible impact, companies must also analyze whether benefit programs that traditionally treat all employees in common are still relevant to them. An option we discuss more often with our clients is the customization of certain benefits with what is suitable for smaller groups of employees or even on an individual level,” added Stela ToderaČ™cu.

“2022 was a ceiling year on the labour market in terms of applications, and 2023 came with a noticeable increase in candidates’ interest in changing jobs. In the first six months of last year, we had 5.1 million applications; in 2023, almost 5.3 million applications were registered. Candidates are very attentive to what is happening in the market, to the jobs that companies post, and are more willing than last year to make a change if their criteria from an employer and a job are met “, completed Raluca Dumitra, Head of Marketing, eJobs Romania.

Job stability and intention to change jobs

According to the new study, only 21% of Romanian employees intend to stay at their current job in the next year, the majority declaring that they want a career change. While there are differences between employee categories and industries, the numbers may even worry some employers. Some employees are open to making this change because they want a job in another field. Still, most are determined to find a better-paying job, especially since not all employers have indexed salaries in line with inflation. Regarding the desired lot of activity, over 40% of managers would like the new job to be in the same area as the current one. In comparison, people from the “blue collar” category (workers) show the most extraordinary openness to a change of field (40% of them). Also, the intention to change the job is higher (over 75%) among employees in the automotive, HORECA, oil & gas or retail fields, with the lowest fluctuation rate being in IT & C and Media & Advertising.

Top 3 factors that determine the change of job

Salary benefits and work atmosphere are the main motivational factors in choosing an employer and the main factors that determine the job change. 6 out of 10 Romanians have decided to look for another job because of the unfriendly working atmosphere, more than those who would change for a better salary elsewhere (55%).

For 60% of managers, a toxic management style is the most critical factor driving them to make a career change, closely followed by a hostile work environment (58%), both of which are more important in the decision to change employers than the opportunity for a better salary (48%).

The desire for a higher salary is essential in changing jobs, mainly for workers and non-managerial employees.

Frequency of job change

The new study indicates that most of the unemployed (39%) remain unemployed for up to 6 months, after which the percentages drop considerably. In addition, managers are the ones who rarely change employers; for 36% of them, the last job change was five years ago. The average length of time spent at the same job is 2.5 years.

Criteria for choosing an employer

For 86% of the employees participating in the study, the salary and benefits offered are the main reasons for choosing an employer, but especially for non-management employees, where 90% chose salary and benefits as the main reasons. In second place, with 62%, is the balance between professional and personal life, with a much more critical weight for managers, with 66%.

At the same time, the working atmosphere also plays an essential role, with 59% of employees motivated by this factor in choosing an employer, which is more important than the possibility of improvement or the career plan for most study participants. However, managers are more motivated by the prospect of progress and the organizational culture than the other employee categories.

Factors increasing trust towards the employer

For 7 out of 10 Romanians, a transparent, trust-based and pressure-free management style is the main factor in increasing loyalty to an employer, with increased importance for managers (8 out of 10). A pleasant working atmosphere is in 2nd place with 64% and salary increases in 3rd place with 59%. Thus, even if salary and fringe benefits are the main factors in choosing an employer during recruitment, they are not the primary factors determining employees’ stay at their current jobs. For more than half of the study participants, additional benefits, such as meal vouchers or subscriptions to various services, and job and company stability have the most significant influence in increasing employer loyalty.

Professional goals for the next year

As in the case of choosing an employer, the balance between professional and personal life (65%) and a salary increase (61%) are the professional goals for the next year of the majority of study participants.

While promotion is a predominant objective among non-management employees, managers have as a specific objective the participation in training, coaching and mentoring programs. At the same time, those who are unemployed to a greater extent want a more flexible schedule, in addition to a balance between professional and personal life.

The study was conducted online on a sample of 3,272 people over 18 actives in the labour market. Data collection took place between April and May 2023.

“Naturally, the Employer Branding division of PR agency MSL The Practice adopted the data@core vision from Publicis Groupe Romania, whereby the solution of any brief, be it media, creative or PR, starts from understanding consumer behaviours through analysis of data, sets its success monitoring indicators and tracks their achievement with the help of data. The study was done in partnership with the team is a first step that the Data Intelligence team takes in developing specific analyzes for each employer”, explains Rodica Mihalache, Data Intelligence Lead, Publicis Groupe Romania

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