18 December 2023

Back in the Summer we were writing about "the great resignation", as changes to the UK business market saw unprecedented numbers of workers leaving their roles in favour of more attractive offers. Now that we've almost made it to 2024, the "great resignation" has been replaced with the "great negotiation". Highlighted in LinkedIn's ideas that will shape 2024, the great negotiation refers to increasing tensions between younger workers and old-school bosses. What is the "great negotiation"? And how could it change UK business practice moving forward?

New perspectives

Perhaps one of the key changes that has spurred negotiations between junior and senior employees is the change in work structures. Particularly following the pandemic, commentators have identified that a "nine-to-five job no longer offers the kind of economic promise it once did" and with the ever-increasing cost of living, it's little surprise that younger generations beginning their careers are more likes to advocate for greater economic security. Describing a "new condition in our economy", generational commentators have identified that the basic level of living costs more than entry-level salaries, and as such younger generations are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to scanning the market for more lucrative opportunities.
This change doesn't just impact the way younger generations job search, but also how older generations hire: with the average employee attrition rate at 13% and it costing around £3000 to fill a role, changes need to made to ensure that new talent feel secure in their current role.

Mitigating the impacts

There are many ways in which businesses can appeal to younger generations of talent. For example, studies show that flexible working decreases staff turnover by 87%. This is key to consider in a post-pandemic market, as more businesses are beginning to reduce their work-from-home hours. Flexible working offers many benefits, but the financial implications for younger team members of increased office days shouldn't be ignored.
Outside of more traditional expenses (such as the price of commuting and food expenses), the generation who entered the workforce during the pandemic have invested valuable funds into practical home working set ups. Be it purchasing desks and IT equipment, or spending more on rent for an office, many want to continue to make use of their investments.

An education in social media

It's also worth noting that the consumption of business-focused media on social platforms has consistently increased over recent years, with more GenZ employees turning to Youtube and TikTok for advice on how to advocate for themselves as junior team members. On TikTok alone, #worktok has over 2.3 billion views, with content creators dedicated to offering advice of contract and promotion negotiations, HR queries and points of comparison for salaries/benefits across multiple job sectors. In fact, #jobtok (a hashtag dedicated to offering advice on searching, interviewing, and negotiating for a better package) has 498 million users. As such, hiring managers should make the most of social media trends which adeptly summarise the priorities of younger generations of professionals.

Negotiation tactics are surely not the only trend anticipated to impact UK job markets in 2024. If you're unsure of how to navigate these changes during your job search, then reach out to the team at CM Consulting for impartial advice and guidance on everything from salary benchmarking to current vacancies in the healthcare comms sector.

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