Survey says workplace culture also an important factor

Pay is the top priority among construction and property professionals when it comes to either staying in a job or looking for a new one.

A study of more than 13,500 employers and employees working in construction, including those in architecture, civil engineering, structural engineering and surveying, said nearly two-thirds of employees (64%) say their job search is focused on a higher salary.

Just under half – 49% – said how much they were paid is the biggest single reason for staying or moving with a further 57% saying they find bonuses motivating.

But the study, conducted by recruitment firm Hays Construction & Property, found that workplace culture was also an important factor, with more than half (51%) of respondents willing to take a pay cut in order to work somewhere they found agreeable.

And the same amount said their job hunting was focused on the other factors of culture, career progression and benefits.

Nearly half (46%) would turn down a job if no training was offered, while ambition was higher in the sector than the UK average, with more than a fifth (23%) aspiring to reach director level and above positions.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) placed importance on training and developing when looking for a new role. But only 43% of employees reported receiving external training and only 47% said they received on-the-job training.

More than a third (39%) said they were dissatisfied or indifferent towards their current role and more than half (52%) said their work-life balance was average, poor or terrible.

Richard Gelder, director at Hays Construction & Property, said it was “encouraging” that the UK construction workforce was more ambitious than the average and employers needed to ensure they offered the work-life balance that their employees want.

“Whilst pay remains the focus for construction workers when staying in a role or moving jobs, employers need to be aware of the other factors influencing employees’ decisions.

“With over half of an employee’s decision to stay or move roles focused on culture, career progression and benefits, employers must find ways to communicate these more effectively and create workplaces to attract talented staff.”