Five ways to stop top talent heading out the door in 2023

The economy may be uncertain, but people’s desire to seek out new job opportunities remains strong.

According to Tiger Recruitment’s Salary and Benefits Review, four in ten workers plan to look for a new role in 2023, including a third of those who have been in their job for less than a year. So, how can businesses cure employees’ itchy feet and encourage them to stay, given that recruiting new blood is more challenging than ever? Responding to what employees want and expect in a job is vital.


Tiger’s research shows that salary is still the leading factor in talent retention, to the extent that people are willing to move jobs to secure the pay cheque they want. Around half of the workers surveyed received a salary increase last year when many businesses topped up pay to retain talent in a competitive market. However, less than 8% of workers saw their salary rise above inflation, with 53% hopeful of a raise in the year ahead.

Some would argue that in these unsettled times, people would do well to stay put. But with job vacancies on the rise, UK employees say they’re more motivated to look for another job with better pay (35%) than remain in their current role for security (28%) or ask for a pay rise (20%). What can employers do to encourage staff to stay? Benchmarking their salaries to ensure they are competitive is recommended.

Flexible hybrid working

Some companies simply can’t afford to increase pay. Their best alternative is to consider low-cost ways to make their staff feel valued, such as hybrid working. Tiger’s research consistently shows how much employees value the improved work-life balance that comes with increased flexibility.

Post-pandemic, many businesses asked workers to come into the office three days a week but received a lot of push back, particularly from staff who relocated further away from their offices during the lockdown.

Since then, some employers have decided to judge flexible working on a team-by-team basis, so managers can choose what works best for their team and workload. If a business can be flexible on hybrid working, it pays off in employee satisfaction; 91% of flexible hybrid workers (who choose when they work from the office and from home) are happy with their flexible working options versus 39% of office workers.

Healthy connections

While hybrid working has many benefits, it also brings a greater risk of burnout, particularly among full-time remote workers. People working from home sometimes struggle to switch off, increasing the importance of mental health and wellbeing. When Tiger surveyed a cross-section of UK employees last year, only a handful received mental health and wellbeing support. Now, a quarter receive this benefit – yet a fifth would still like employers to do more. 

Start-ups should pay particular attention to the wellbeing of newer members of staff, especially those with limited work experience, as they’re less likely to ask for help and more prone to leave. With data showing that up to 20% of new hires leave within the first 45 days and 33% leave after just six months, helping new employees integrate into the workplace is crucial. Onboarding programmes should provide new starters with opportunities to build relationships and make connections, which can be more difficult when people aren’t in the office every day. When teams feel connected, they tend to get more work done and do it faster. And they are more likely to stick around.

Personalised benefits

Workplace benefits are another key consideration for employees. However, only 15% are happy with their current package, leaving plenty of room for employers to improve. There is a core set of benefits that consistently top the charts and which many jobseekers deem to be standard:

  • Over 20 days of paid annual leave
  • Health insurance or private medical cover
  • Cycle-to-work scheme
  • Paid maternity and paternity leave above the statutory rate
  • Pension provision above the legal minimum

Beyond these, people are looking for flexible solutions to today’s challenges. Updating benefits packages to reflect the social and economic climate is the key to attracting and retaining talent. This could be as simple as signposting free, independent financial wellbeing advice or giving people access to stress-relieving mindfulness apps. Giving employees greater autonomy over their benefits package to address individual needs comes a close second.

Training and development

Aside from salary and benefits, employees are keen to learn new skills and advance their careers. Not being able to progress within a role can be a dealbreaker, with Tiger research showing that 51% of workers left their last company due to a lack of professional development opportunities.

For start-ups, an effective training and development strategy needn’t involve external providers or cost the earth. Making the career development framework more transparent can make a big difference. It helps staff see a clear career path and take greater ownership of their personal development. Encouraging peer-to-peer learning, when employees exchange skills and experience, can also help employees expand their knowledge. Tactics range from assigning mentors to new hires to help them learn the ropes to ongoing lunch-and-learn sessions where employees share their expertise in a relaxed setting.

Giving employees at all levels the training, flexibility, and compensation they expect goes a long way to building loyalty and helping them see a future with the business. And when you consider that replacing an employee can cost anywhere between 30-200% of their salary, not to mention the time and effort involved, meeting employees on their terms makes business sense.