The Great Reshuffle

5 Minutes

By now we’ve all heard something about ‘The Great Reshuffle’ or ‘The Great Resignation’ but ...

By now we’ve all heard something about ‘The Great Reshuffle’ or ‘The Great Resignation’ but what is it and what is actually driving it?
Over the last 18 months there has been a record number of people changing jobs, a record number of vacancies and a salary squeeze which is making the recruitment market incredibly competitive. The recruitment market is an incredible place, with many UK recruitment companies posting record years in terms of revenue and number of registered jobs. But what is actually causing it?
The honest answer is that there isn’t one concrete factor which is causing this mass re-shuffle, but more a combination of multiple factors which are all combining to form the perfect storm so to speak. Every candidate we speak to has a different and unique reason for wanting to move roles, but a few of the common ones are outlined below:

Candidate review:

“I have worked with Jonny on both sides of the recruitment process. He is really friendly yet professional and makes the process as smooth as possible. He keeps you updated and nothing is too much trouble. He’s great at getting back to you quickly and giving his honest view. I highly recommend him.”

Salary and benefits

Salary and benefits is more important than ever at the moment. Traditionally, candidates who were just moving for salary reasons were encouraged to speak to their current firm first. Whilst this is still the case, there is becoming more of a disparity between certain firms and others and candidates are aware of this. The disparity in some instances is becoming too large to ignore and we are seeing more and more moves driven by money in this market, whereas beforehand it was always quite a rare occurrence. This also includes benefits; holidays, health insurance etc. are all things which firms are incorporating and a good benefits package does go a long way when recruiting someone. Remember, things like 20 days holiday plus bank holidays isn’t a benefit, it’s a mandatory minimum requirement.


There is 2 sides to this point and each side depends on the individual candidates preference. The pandemic has given people the time to think about not only what they want from their career but also their personal life. We've had candidates come to us in senior positions who want less pressure, less responsibility and want to take a step backwards so they can focus more on their personal life. But on the flip side we've had lots of candidates come to us because they want to progress and the pandemic has made them realise that they can't progress at their current firm as much as they'd like to. Ambition has been a driving factor but in both directions.


We’ve had candidates register with us purely because they are being forced to go into the office much more than their counterparts at other firms. In fact, surprisingly some law firms are making their staff go into the office 5 times per week and this is not only making it difficult for them to retain staff, but also makes it very difficult to actually recruit people for those firms as the vast majority of candidates want a hybrid working approach. We aren’t seeing many complete remote-working roles (although we do get the odd one!), but the vast majority of firms we speak with are operating on a model where they require staff in the office 2 or 3 times a week and this seems to be a nice balance and is working well.

Ethos and attitudes

Over the last 2 years we have seen some significant shifts in the character and behaviours of certain firms, and actually firms have changed their outlook on what is important to them overall and business-wide. The pandemic has forced a change – and with any change this has worked positively with some people but we’ve also seen a lot of people, especially at partner level, who have spoken to us over the last year as they no longer align themselves with the firm they once joined as the shift in culture and attitude has been so significant.

Something new

Similarly to the point below, the pandemic has given people the time to think about what they want. This could relate to ambition but the reality is, is that it goes a lot deeper than ambition. We've seen a lot of relocations for people to be nearer to family, people wanting to work in a different type of firm than they've wanted to work in before, we've even had a few people wanting to try new practice areas. People have just formed a new way of thinking and weighing up what’s important to them.
In summary, there’s a lot going on and exploring the market and understanding the great re-shuffle can be a daunting experience and you might not know where to begin. That’s where we come in. At Sacco Mann we are expert legal recruiters who specialise in the legal market across the vast majority of the country, including Yorkshire, the North East, Manchester and the North West, the West Midlands and the East Midlands. If you would like to have an initial exploratory conversation, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team and we will do everything we can to guide, coach and help you as much as we can.