31% of UK workers would take a pay cut for their dream job

  • Half of employees feel they are paid fairly given their efforts and achievements at work
  • Over a third would consider taking a pay cut in their hunt for the dream job

London, 12 October 2017 – With starting salaries set to rise by just 1.4% in the year ahead, research by recruitment specialist, Robert Half UK has revealed half (50%) of UK employees are satisfied with their salaries and feel they are paid fairly given their efforts and achievements at work. In a sign that it’s not just salary that’s important in the workplace, over a third (37%) would be open to re-evaluating  their salary expectations in the hunt for their ideal job. More than three in 10 (31%) would also be willing to take a pay cut in order to secure their dream role.

Alongside pay, increasing numbers of employees are seeking a purposeful career. Overall, workers expect to be happy at work and in their roles (84%), , to get on well with their teams (68%), to find their jobs interesting (66%), and to have friends at work (62%). The majority also want to feel a sense of accomplishment (63%), have a good work-life balance (63%), be proud of their organisation (60%), and to feel appreciated by their bosses (50%). 

As the war for talent emerges most strongly in areas like accounting, finance and technology, businesses are looking at alternative ways to reward and motivate employees. Some organisations are introducing flexible working policies (17%), early finishes on a Friday (14%), additional annual leave days for well-being (14%) and sabbaticals (7%) to create a happier working environment for staff whilst fulfilling their expectations.

“Rather than just competing on salary alone, many businesses are looking beyond pay and at the full remuneration package they can offer to keep staff engaged,” said Phil Sheridan, Director, Robert Half UK, South America and the Middle East. “When attracting candidates to work for their organisation, businesses are increasingly needing to sell the career potential, the employer brand and the organisation culture at the same time. Alongside offering competitive salaries, there is also a focus on rewards that contribute to creating a happy, blended workforce and a greater sense of satisfaction at work.”

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Notes to editors

This study was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on research with more than 2,000 randomly selected United Kingdom adults who are currently employed on a full or part-time basis with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.