UK workers place growing importance on professional networks

15 Sep 2023

New research out this week reveals up to 30% of professionals are concerned about their job security during the ongoing economic uncertainty, which is resulting in 54% relying more on their professional networks. The findings by Hyve Group show that a significant section of Britain’s 30 million strong workforce is worried about the coming months. Job security concerns are the most prevalent amongst younger workers, according to the research, totalling 61% of 25- to 34-year-olds, declining to 42% for the over-55s.


Looking to the future

Around 59% of people surveyed believe their professional network will help them to find a new position in the future, a figure that rises to 72% amongst 25- to 34-year-olds. Whereas over half, 54%, said they place more value on their professional network as their careers progress. The prominence of the power of networks for future roles compared to just 19% who have utilised their professional connections to help them find a new job to date. Hyve Group CEO Mark Shashoua said of the findings: “For those currently experiencing job insecurity, the importance of a network is in the spotlight more than ever, with crucial opportunities resulting from well-nurtured connections. There are multiple ways to grow your network – from forming bonds with current and former employees to connecting with industry peers at events or through mentoring opportunities – it is important workers start forging these connections early on in their careers and that we all maintain them throughout.”


Why move roles?

When questioned as to what circumstances would encourage them to switch roles, 54% of those polled said a higher salary would be a key motivation, followed by 31% who claimed a better work-life balance would be essential. In addition, 13% said they would be keen to have an employer who was more in tune with their personal beliefs. Yet this figure is higher amongst millennials, with 19% saying ethics would be a strong motivation when looking for a new role. This compares to only 8% of those aged over 55. The Hyve Group CEO added: “We know that what motivates people to want to work for companies differs through the generations, and the trends around work-life balance and value-based decisions have accelerated in recent years. Younger workers are more likely to seek out employers that align with their ethics, while irrespective of age, 31% are motivated by an improved work-life balance. The personal and professional networks you grow over time can often be the key to unlocking career opportunities which align with your values.”