What’s the top reason many HR professionals are quitting?

'They spend so much time focusing on the rest of the business that their needs aren't always prioritised and can go unmet'

What’s the top reason many HR professionals are quitting?

A lack of career progression is motivating many HR professionals to switch employers in the next 12 months, according to a new report from Ciphr.

In a survey of 163 HR professionals in the UK, it found that 22% are either very likely or likely looking for new employers within the next year.

Their top reason? Lack of job growth. According to 42% of those looking to change employers, they want more career progression, management responsibilities, and promotion opportunities than their current employer offers.

Claire Williams, chief people officer at Ciphr, pointed out that it is not uncommon for some HR leaders to feel overlooked when it comes to their own career development. 

"They often spend so much time focusing on the rest of the business that their needs aren't always prioritised and can go unmet. There may also be an assumption that, because they work in HR, they would naturally action their own development needs and apply best practice to themselves," Williams said in a media release.

Other factors for departure cited by HR professionals include:

  • I want to improve my work-life balance (39%)
  • I want a higher salary (31%)
  • Lack of good or effective leadership at my current job (25%)
  • I want a more rewarding or fulfilling job (19%)
  • I want more job security (19%)
  • I want to gain new knowledge and skills (19%)
  • Lack of recognition (19%)
  • The HR team has no real power (19%)
  • I want to leave HR or find a different career (17%)
  • Insufficient training (17%)

Among all respondents, 44% said they are open to new jobs but aren't currently seeking them, while 34% said they are happy to stay with their current role for at least the next year.

Meanwhile, some 20% they said they recently switched employers for a better paying job amid rising costs of living, while 34% said they took time off due to stress.

Supporting career aspirations of HR

The research should give employers a good reminder on the importance of supporting HR and their career aspirations to retain them, according to Williams.

"While people obviously want to feel financially rewarded for the skills and experience that they bring to an organisation, they also want to feel invested in. They want to know that their employer appreciates and values them and that there are clearly defined training and development routes and promotion opportunities available to them," Williams said.

Ciphr's chief people officer also acknowledged that it might be "tricky" to offer career development opportunities.

"Therefore, employers and HR leaders should consider structuring their teams in a way that enables cross-specialist learning and upskilling, or involvement in wider business projects to build commercial awareness and a broader understanding of the organisation as a whole. This will both enrich the job as well as improving their HR capability in the longer term," she said.

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