Just 28% of recently surveyed project managers said they are happy in their current jobs with 67% of project managers actively looking for a new job.

Following the Office for National Statistics (ONS) news last week that pay in the UK has increased at the slowest rate on record, the Arras People report confirms low wage increases in the project management industry is also adversely affected this business community.

With 75% of working projects managers not receiving a pay rise above the rate of inflation this year (93% of for project managers working in the public sector) it is easy to see why project managers are unhappy with the status quo.

In contrast, organisation confidence is increasing (up 13% since the beginning of 2014) with 68% of organisations recruiting project managers in 2014 citing increased business demand as the driver. Still, 29% of organisations are having to recruit project managers due to staff leavers and 40% believe staff turnover is set to increase throughout the remainder of 2014. Unhappy project managers are beginning to vote with their feet, or are they?

54% of organisations looking to recruit project managers reported that they have found it very difficult/difficult, despite so many project managers looking for a new job. Two of the factors inhibiting recruitment are a lack of project managers actively applying for their open positions and restrictions on remuneration that they can offer.

55% of project managers keen to move into a new position report that “finding opportunities that align with their skills and experience” is their greatest challenge; whilst 46% believe the “remuneration levels on offer are too low”. The restrictions on remuneration are leading to positions being seen as unattractive or not enticing enough for project managers to risk leaving their current posts.

The message for all organisations and hirers of project managers is clear. Staff retention policies need to be taken seriously and acted on now if they are to avoid a talent shortage as the growth in the UK economy accelerates. If an organisation has to enter the market to attract new project management talent, the slack is evaporating fast; working project managers will be looking to recoup their real wage losses incurred during the great recession if they are to be tempted into a move.

project-management-confidence-indexThese figures were taken from the latest report from Arras People on the project management market in the UK. The report is now available to download

Just some of the key findings from the report:

  • 74% of Private sector respondents are anticipating some level of growth in their current organisation during 2014.
  • 55% of respondent involved in recruiting programme and project management practitioners in 2014 reported that filling roles has been very difficult/difficult.
  • 40% of practitioners who have started a new job in 2014 have seen wage increases of over 8% on their last salary.
  • 28% of employees are happy in their current role.
  • 46% of practitioners cannot find a new role that meets a desired level of remuneration.
  • 48% of inactive contractors have been contracting for less than 3 years. Pseudo contractors?