I must admit I wasn’t surprised to read this week that a growing number of highly paid workers are swapping stressful company jobs for careers in the more secure public sector amid fears of redundancy. The trend – an obvious reversal on the boom years – appears to be a direct result of uncertainty surrounding the recession.
To summarise the highlights of the Capturing Commercial Talent Survey commissioned by Hays (a Zookel client):
- 63% of public sector employers have noticed an increase in applications from the private sector.
- 50% of public sector organisations said they had skill shortages they needed to address in order to deliver high quality services.
- 80% of those said they would be best filled by a private sector worker.
- The NHS has noticed the most extreme change, with the number of applications for jobs having more than doubled since January from 40,000 to over 100,000 (with roughly the same number of vacancies).
- Some workers have been prepared to take pay cuts of up to 60% to guarantee themselves work through the next few years.
Whilst perceived job security remains the most important factor in employees decision to ‘jump the fence’, there were also a number of other benefits quoted including:
- The potential for shorter working hours.
- A greater work-life balance including part-time hours and the ability to work from home.
- Excellent benefits packages.
- The chance to make a positive difference to society.
Short term sacrifice for long term gain, work-life balance, or straight forward career change no matter the reason the questions remain: will the fence jumpers stay put or want back to the more glamorous jobs once the recession ends? and: whilst public sector employers are more than happy to take on those with private experience, will it work in reverse?
Food for though if nothing else. As always good luck on the job hunt!
Zoe & Team Zookel
Source for stats: Evening Standard Article