• 45% of workers say their employers have had difficulty recruiting in the last 12 months
  • 36% say staff shortages have made it harder to take time off
  • 31% have been required to work more shifts and 37% believe their work/life balance has suffered

As seasonal recruitment ramps up, new research reveals the top benefits that motivate shift workers across sectors such as hospitality, retail and logistics to change jobs.

Better pay tops this year’s list, but is closely followed by employee wellbeing programs and provision of flexible working hours.

What would make workers change jobs?

According to Deputy’s annual State of Shift Work report*, shift workers would be motivated to change jobs for:

  • Better pay (48%)
  • Flexible working hours (33%)
  • Wellbeing programs (gym membership, meditation subscriptions etc.) (32%)
  • Health insurance (32%)
  • Employee assistance programs (access to a psychologist, counselling etc.) (28%)
  • Free meals and drinks (26%)
  • Retirement savings programs (25%)
  • Paid time off (23%)
  • Immediate access to pay after working a shift (21%)

With vacancies at 989,000 between June and August 2023, the labour market for the UK remains tight. In fact, 47% of workers who took part in the Deputy survey said their company had had difficulty hiring in the last 12 months.

For many workers, this has had a negative impact on them, with 36% reporting that staffing shortfalls had made it harder for them to take time off. 31% said they had been required to work more shifts and 37% believe their work/life balance had suffered.

However, some felt that the difficulty in recruiting had had a positive impact on their career, with 26% being given new responsibilities, 18% receiving a pay increase and 20% being promoted.

What do workers think would create a more positive working environment?

When asked what would create a more positive working environment for them, workers were most interested in feeling valued and recognised, employee wellbeing and a culture of trust:

  • Being valued and recognised for my contribution (46%)
  • Focus on employee wellbeing (42%)
  • A culture of trust, openness, and compassion (39%)
  • Clear role definition and expectations (36%)
  • Building relationships with my peers (32%)
  • A culture of diversity, equity and inclusion (31%)
  • A compassionate manager (30%)
  • A company with a reputation for success (30%)
  • A clear and inspiring company mission (27%)

Deputy SVP, Jon Wilson, said: “It’s clear that wellbeing, mental health and working in a caring culture are all important to workers. If employers want to attract the best talent to join their teams, they need to have a thriving workplace and demonstrate they genuinely care about and invest in their people.”

The Power of AI

Deputy is used in more than 35,000 UK workplaces for communication between frontline teams and decision-makers, to control schedules, collaborate intuitively, and help employees plan their lives around work. Now, the business has announced the launch of Deputy HR to offer a complete one-stop recruitment and HR system for businesses with shift workers.

“By integrating the power of AI, Deputy HR provides a seamless experience for businesses and job seekers that haven’t typically had access to mobile-based recruitment and onboarding like this,” says Jon Wilson. “Adding the new HR component to Deputy enables businesses to attract, onboard and retain talent in a much more engaging and user-friendly way. From an employee perspective, candidates can go from applying to clocking in for their first shift all in the palm of their hands.”

The platform helps employers to write job ads faster, automatically shortlist candidates based on qualifications, conduct pre-screening assessments, automate scheduling of interviews, and even enables applicants to record video introductions on mobile to support their applications.


In addition to the recruitment process, the system integrates contract signing along with all critical onboarding details (bank details, right to work records,etc.) and manages them on an ongoing basis.

To learn more about Deputy HR, visit https://www.deputy.com/gb/hr-software

Lisa Baker

Author Lisa Baker

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