4 in 10 Workers Plan to Look For a New Job in First Half of 2022

Friday, December 17th, 2021

For many workers, it'll be out with the old job, in with a new one come 2022, research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. The company's biannual Job Optimism Survey of more than 2,400 professionals tracks worker sentiment on current and future career prospects and reveals key implications for employers.


  • Gen Z professionals (52%)
  • Employees who have been with their company for 2-4 years (49%)
  • Technology workers (47%)

In addition, the survey found that 28% of professionals planning to look for a new job would quit without another one lined up.

View an infographic of the research highlights.

"This is the first time in my 37-year staffing career that I've seen so much movement in the market and so many opportunities for workers at all levels," said Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald. "With nearly half their workforce poised to make a move, companies should be highly concerned about retention in the coming months."

Stuck With Nowhere to Grow
Regardless of job search plans, 87% of workers surveyed feel confident about their current skill set and 61% seek a promotion as the next step in their career. Yet, 41% feel they don't have a clear path for advancement at their company. Moreover, one-third of employees (34%) feel performance discussions with their manager are ineffective and don't help them reach their professional goals.

McDonald noted, "In today's environment, workers are in the driver's seat. To help keep their best on board, managers should have regular check-ins with their direct reports to discuss career goals, development plans and what could make their employee experience better."

Drawn to Remote Work
When considering their career options, 54% of professionals expressed interest in fully remote positions at companies based in a different city or state than they live in. Employers recruiting for open roles should look far and wide, McDonald advises: "Your next great hire could be miles away. Companies that embrace remote work options and provide a seamless onboarding experience will have the best chance of bringing in — and keeping — top talent."

For more tips on retaining talent in a tight labor market, visit the Robert Half blog.