It’s the UK’s Job Hunting Season – But Where Are the Best Places to Work?

Lauren Thomas and Richard Johnson

January 11, 2022

'The ‘new year, new job’ mantra will ring differently this year as 2022 kicks off amidst a uniquely competitive job market for employers in the UK. Historically, January has shown significant increases in job search activity coming out of the festive season, a trend we expect to continue in 2022 as attracting and retaining top talent continues to be a challenge for many employers.

First Quarter Boost Beginning in January

Job search activity on Glassdoor has traditionally increased 55 percent on average from December to January with searches dipping over the festive period and accelerating at the start of the year. The uptick this year in job hunting is likely to be no different but employers will be competing fiercely for workers.

While the winter surge in COVID-19 cases may disrupt job search, January is typically the start of a major boost in search activity, which historically lasts through the majority of the first quarter – January, February and March. Based on historical Glassdoor data, first quarter job search activity tends to be 16 percent above the quarterly average, peaking in the middle of the first quarter.

Mid-February Peak

Traditionally, January’s surge in search activity remains stable over the majority of the quarter, with a continued upward trend that historically peaks in mid-February, around the week of February 13. At its highest point, search activity shows a boost of 29 percent over a typical week. The beginning of the year is prime time for recruiters and as employers continue vying for top talent, workers will be holding out for the best offers and the opportunity to contribute at the best places to work. 

Which Companies Should Employees Consider First?

To help job seekers find a job they love, Glassdoor today revealed the Employees’ Choice Award recognising the UK’s Best Places to Work in 2022. We analysed employee sentiments and insights to discover the companies that workers say are really the best. In our most competitive year to date, winners were determined by examining the quantity, quality and consistency of anonymous feedback provided by employees about their jobs, work environments and employers over the past year. The Best Places to Work winners are companies that listen and engage with their employees, constantly looking for better ways to serve their workers’ needs.

Prior Glassdoor research revealed that the workplace factors that mattered most to employees before the pandemic remain key: an employee-first culture, transparent and high-quality leadership as well as career opportunities for development and advancement within the organisation. These are all qualities mentioned in the employee reviews of the UK's top 50 Best Places to Work. The list features outstanding companies from 14 different industries and half of the list are newcomers to the awards, including the #1 ranked company ServiceNow.

As we enter another year of the pandemic, winners of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in 2022 will be center-stage among employers competing for the best and brightest talent. The first quarter job search surge will come with greater expectations for employers, which we expect to continue through 2022 as employees reevaluate their relationship with work. Employees will be less willing to compromise their needs, so employers looking to attract and maintain a talented workforce will succeed by clearly communicating their priorities, policies and positions on issues facing employees and by fostering a positive employee experience.


In this research, we examine historical data on job-seeker activity. Using the Prophet package, we calculate a given quarter’s deviations from a “typical quarter” baseline using data from 2017 through 2021, isolating the seasonal and holiday effects.

These projections are illustrative, based solely on the seasonal effects and assume no change in the underlying trend, which may not hold, especially given the ongoing pandemic.

To speak with Richard Johnson or Lauren Thomas about this report, please contact For the latest economics and labor market updates follow @Rich_DJohnson and @LaurenTEcon on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn (Lauren and Richard), and subscribe to Glassdoor Economic Research.

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