Attention, employers! Job switching spiked in late 2021 as professionals looked for better opportunities. Read on for exclusive insights from this year’s Randstad Employer Brand Research report, including which sector was named the most desirable to work in.

With job switching still on the rise, it’s clear the Great Resignation shows no signs of abating. The 2022 Randstad Employer Brand Research report found that globally, the percentage of workers changing jobs rose from 12 to 16 percent year over year, a trend that was especially strong in North America (23%).

Further highlighting the dramatic shift in job-seeker sentiments since the pandemic, workers chose engineering as the most attractive sector in which to work — an unexpected result given that engineering has not ranked in the top five since 2019.

In this highly competitive labor market, organizations that want to attract top talent need to understand workforce trends. So why has engineering become the hottest choice for job switchers and what does that mean for you as an employer?

why people are switching jobs

First, let’s look at the main reasons behind the current job-hopping trend.

1. To earn more

According to the report, 61 percent of workers said wages were the most important factor in choosing between job offers. But with inflation rising sharply, some companies are struggling to compete on compensation, driving employees to seek better pay elsewhere.

2. To find meaning in their jobs

The pandemic has driven people to re-evaluate both their work and personal lives, fostering a desire in many to do more meaningful work. In particular, Gen Z and millennial workers want jobs that reflect their ethics and are more likely to choose companies with solid environmental and social credentials — whether that’s sustainable policies, community outreach programs or a strong social justice stance.

3. To look for better opportunities

Other top drivers of employer choice are long-term job security (cited by 55 percent of workers) and career progression (49%). This means that job seekers are more likely to choose employers who create a compelling all-round talent experience that meets their personal and professional needs.

why engineering is in demand

Bearing these reasons in mind, it’s unsurprising that engineering is so attractive. Here’s why.

competitive pay

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for all architecture and engineering jobs is almost double that for all jobs, at $79,840 compared to $45,760.

making a difference

Whether it’s civil engineers building soaring skyscrapers or environmental engineers tackling climate change, the products of the sector have a tangible impact on the world around us.

varied opportunities

As they build experience, engineers typically work on a range of different projects. They can also leverage their transferable skills — problem-solving, numeracy and project management — into different industries, from consultancy to business and finance.

takeaways for businesses

However, there is a gap between how workers perceive the sector and their own abilities, with a significant proportion (65%) saying they lack the skills to work in engineering.

For employers, this is an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by removing the barriers to entry for willing talent. You could do this by:

  • improving awareness of the diverse roles available in the sector
  • partnering with universities to generate interest in the field
  • offering reskilling and upskilling programs, particularly for blue-collar workers
  • building a positive employee experience in terms of work-life balance and health and safety standards

The current talent scarcity is set to continue, with workers job hopping in search of better pay or new opportunities. But the rising interest in the engineering sector means that employers who move quickly and creatively to harness this willing talent will have a competitive edge, attracting and retaining the best minds.

Ready to take advantage of this upsurge of interest in engineering roles? To find out how you can attract top engineering talent, get in touch with Randstad today.