Uncertainty over Brexit means that pay for most UK professionals will remain flat in 2019, according to a new survey.
The annual Salary Survey is produced by recruitment consultancy Robert Walters. It has found that almost half (46%) of professionals currently believe that companies do not offer a competitive enough salary.
However, many employees are staying put for now. "Uncertainty around Brexit has created a fear of 'last in first out,' which in turn has meant that employees are less willing to move roles as swiftly as they would have in previous years," said Chris Hickey, ceo at Robert Walters.
"As a result, despite there being high demand for specialist and highly skilled professionals, companies are finding themselves contending with a UK-wide candidate shortage across most disciplines."
However, the survey predicts that there will be a few pockets of hiring activity - and salary increases - within sectors including banking and financial services, driven by demand for skills such as compliance, risk and audit, as well as HR and technology.
It's not all about money for young professionals, however, with 75% of millennials saying that an engaging workplace is a key part of their job. Outside of pay, career progression (91%), brand personality and cultural fit (58%), the rate at which company adopts new technologies (42%), a sociable team culture (30%), and job satisfaction (25%) are considered most valuable to the millennial workforce.
There are fears that professionals will be tempted to leave the UK, as 52% of young professionals say they are keen to grow their career abroad. And a number of companies have already started to gear up for a post-Brexit market by setting up offices in cities in Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg.
"The UK still offers some of the most competitive salaries in Europe, however it will not surprise me to see more and more professionals move to other European countries who are known for their work-life balance and lifestyle," said Chris Hickey.
"It is crucial now more than ever that employers focus on retention and maintaining headcount - variety in the job role, cross-training, secondments and lateral moves will all help retention rates with less cost to businesses when compared to introducing pay increases."