Majority of British workers are unhappy with benefits packages.

A new survey revealed that 86% of organisations in the UK have found hiring ‘quite’ or ‘very’ competitive in 2023. 46% have lost out on hiring new talent in the last six months as they ‘can’t compete on salary and benefits’, and 40% expect ‘lack of skilled candidates available’ to be their greatest 2024 recruitment challenge.

Despite this, the research, conducted by global talent services company Morgan McKinley as part of its 2024 Salary Guide, found that over half (52%) of UK businesses still plan to hire in the next six months.

As for professionals, 51% in the UK plan to actively look for new jobs in the next six months. The survey also revealed that British workers were not happy with the benefits they received: 59% being ‘neutral’, ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘highly dissatisfied’ with their packages. The top five desired benefits British workers look for in a job are: Work from home, bonus, pension, health insurance, and flexible working hours.

‘Higher salary’ remains the most valued reason for wanting to move jobs at 42%, followed by ‘meaningful and impactful work’ at 13%. 49% of professionals in the UK are optimistic that they will receive a salary increase in 2024 and 70% of employers plan to increase salary offers in 2024 for certain in-demand roles.

Contracting appears to be more attractive for many, as 48% of professionals currently employed in permanent roles would consider making the switch to contracting, with the main reasons given being ‘better rates of pay’, ‘greater opportunities to develop skills’, and ‘more flexibility’.


David Leithead, Chief Operations Officer of Morgan McKinley UK, commented: “The underlying economic gloom caused many employers to slow recruitment; the frenzy to secure new hires has been replaced by companies taking time and care to ensure the best hiring decisions are made. Despite this, the pressure to find new talent has remained, as companies look to drive ahead with change agendas, satisfy new regulatory and legal regimes, maximise commercial opportunities, and respond to turnover.”

“Many employers offered inflated salaries to secure talent throughout 2021 and 2022, so it’s unsurprising that salary offers have largely normalised with fewer opportunities available.”


Leithead concluded: “No matter the macro climate, it remains true always that the right talent – that can drive progress and improvement – will remain in demand and companies will pay well to secure them. With the shortage of skilled professionals available, take steps to keep your people engaged, supported and happy; offering benefits that are meaningful to the individual’s specific situation will help here. Benefits around wellbeing and flexibility remain top of the pile.”

The Morgan McKinley 2024 Salary Guide presents up-to-date and accurate salary data for a wide range of roles across the UK, providing hiring managers with industry benchmarks when they are working out what to pay employees and giving professionals more visibility over what they can earn.

Research from 650 businesses and 3,400 professionals was conducted to find out what companies’ hiring intentions are for 2024, what the key motivators are for changing jobs, and what the expectations are for movement on salaries.


For the Morgan McKinley UK 2024 Salary Guide, visit:

Lisa Baker

Author Lisa Baker

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