60% of employees would take fresh challenges and better progression over more money when it came to looking for a new job, according to new research from energy company Gazprom Marketing & Trading.

The study surveyed 400 professionals from across the UK in full-time employment to investigate what made them leave their previous roles, what they look out for when searching for a new job, and how they get on at interview. It also touched on what motivates the respondents to look for fresh opportunities and the opinions they form of businesses during the job hunt.

GM&T’s research is particularly timely. We’re currently in the midst of “The Great Resignation”, a phenomenon that’s led to record numbers of people leaving their jobs since early 2021. The trend has seen employers bearing the brunt of massive turnover; the highest levels since 2009, in fact.

So, what exactly are the reasons employees leave their jobs? The majority of professionals stated they’d opt for more challenging opportunities with the promise of progression. But unsuitable salaries (24%) and a desire for a better company culture (13%) – a huge talking point since the start of the pandemic – were also cited as reasons to look for greener pastures elsewhere.

Although progression outranked salary as a reason for leaving, an attractive salary was deemed one of the biggest reasons why respondents accepted their current role (35%). Elsewhere, job seekers value a company’s reputation a great deal too, with three-quarters of respondents stating it’s something they believe is important.

In the age of things like strong social media presence and Corporate Social Responsibility, the way a company positions itself to the outside world matters now more than ever. So, it’s perhaps easy to see why company reputation holds such sway among the professionals surveyed by GM&T.

When it came to the topic of interviews, the study uncovered further insights too. During any job hunt, the more irons you have in the fire the better, of course. However, the study showed that 95% of respondents attend fewer than five interviews before accepting a new role – just 5% attend six or more on the way towards landing employment somewhere else.

Interestingly, half of the respondents stated they were invited straight to interview with no pre-screening or assessment, while over half of interviews lasted less than an hour. With such short interview times, along with minimal assessment, should employers be doing more to ensure a deeper and more thorough recruitment process?

Commenting on the study, a Resourcing Partner at GM&T said: “If a business effectively builds its reputation, their dream candidates will soon start knocking on their door. And while this takes time, it’s a worthwhile investment that will ensure relevant, high-quality candidates, while helping to lower an organisation’s recruitment overheads in the long term too.”