60% of professionals admit to ‘rage-applying’ to new role – amidst peak frustration with employees

by | Mar 19, 2023

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Two-thirds of white-collar professionals (60%) have admitted to ‘rage applying’ to a new job since the beginning of the year – with a toxic workplace culture (56%) being the primary motivating factor.

The trend – which has seen a spike since New Year appraisals – occurs when professionals retaliate to a bad day at work by firing out multiple applications to new job roles.

Of those who admitted to rage applying in the past six months, almost half (40%) stated that they had applied to multiple new roles within a short space of time. The findings come from a recent poll by staffing firm WaltersPeople, of 2,000 UK professionals.

Toxic workplaces to blame


The leading issue provoking rage-appliers is a toxic workplace culture – with over half (56%) of professionals stating this was the primary reason they took to the keyboard to apply for new jobs. 

A fifth of workers blamed an unmanageable workload (20%), followed by 18% who state that poor work-life balance continues to be an issue.

Just 6% said that a disagreement with management led to them rage applying in the past six months.


Janine Blacksley – Director of Walters People – comments:

“By and large it continues to be a candidate-driven market – with more jobs than people available – so ‘rage applying’ is really something that most employers cannot afford to happen.

“Interestingly it is not issues relating to pay or progression that are creating this knee-jerk reaction – but the work environment itself, something well within the control of the employer.


“Toxic workplace cultures can very much be invisible but the knock-on effect to employee happiness is significant – from a staff members’ mental and physical safety in the workplace, to productivity levels, ideas generation and innovation.

“As a result we are increasingly seeing more ‘culture matches’ in the hiring process – where both the company and prospective employee are vocal about what kind of worker or workplace they are looking for.”

Problem with the culture 


According to Walters People, working for an inspiring company culture and colleagues is the number one thing that attracts professionals to a job advert – ahead of flexible work and enhanced benefits packages.

Janine’s top tips on how to improve a toxic work-environment:

1.    Put it high on your management’s agenda – ensure that managers are well aware that team morale and a positive work environment is a core responsibility of theirs. Business leaders should raise this in management meetings often, as well as asking managers what type of activities/initiatives have taken place in the last month to encourage inclusivity.


2.    Launch anonymous feedback surveys – a fairly basic initiative that simply not enough employers do! Find out how your employees actually feel, and ask open-ended questions on culture. Take time to read all of these comments to get a steer on what is actually going wrong.

3.    Invest time and money – culture does not come for free. Fact is the workplace is made up of a set of people bought together because of their varying skillsets – not because they would necessarily make good friends. As such, companies need to put more effort into helping to create a friendly, social and inclusive environment – these things often don’t happen by chance.

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