According to the research, this hesitance to move jobs is thought to be rooted in a desire for job security.

New research from LinkedIn finds that almost four in five recruiters (77 per cent) say candidates currently seem less committed to moving roles.

In addition to this, almost half (46 per cent) believe people are currently “sheltering” in their current jobs, fearing jeopardising their regular income and job security if they move.

This reluctance to change jobs is happening at a time where the labour market is largely recovering. However, the continued uncertainty about the complete lift on COVID-19 restrictions means that many are still hesitant to act on this boom in hiring.

This is not the only way in which recruitment has been impacted over the last year – with almost a quarter (24 per cent) of UK workers putting their career on the back-burner over the past year to avoid the risk of losing a stable job. An additional fifth (21 per cent) said they have been too concerned about the pandemic to concentrate on career progression.

As such, the LinkedIn research finds that recruiters are having to step-up candidate support and play a more pastoral role.

The vast majority of recruiters (89 per cent) say their role has expanded to helping candidates improve their confidence, and over four in five (82 per cent) are encouraging them to make bolder career choices.

Recruiters’ relationships with their clients have also evolved during the pandemic.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of recruiters surveyed say that encouraging companies to hire candidates on their skills and future potential, over just their formal qualifications and previous experience is now important.

More than a third (37 per cent) are also helping their clients to improve their workforce learning and development programmes, and another 37 per cent are helping them to improve the diversity of their talent pipeline.

Adam Hawkins, Head of Search and Staffing at LinkedIn, said:

It’s understandable that people are feeling anxious about the prospect of moving jobs during a pandemic, particularly if they have good job security, a steady income, and their employer has treated them well over the past year.

Recruiters are playing a pivotal role in re-instilling career confidence in candidates and getting the labour market moving again. We know there have been many people ‘sheltering’ in jobs, waiting to see how things pan out before making a move, and recruiters are spending a lot more time supporting candidates and getting them to see the opportunities ahead.

Never have essential soft skills such as empathy and emotional intelligence been so important as recruiters motivate candidates to explore new opportunities and reinject optimism into the labour market.


*LinkedIn commissioned Censuswide to survey 500 in-house talent professionals and agency recruiters in the UK during May 2021 to understand the barriers preventing companies from hiring candidates. A survey of 2,025 professionals in the UK was also conducted to understand how people are feeling about job opportunities and career prospects.