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Why Talented People Are Changing Jobs Today

If you were in HR or recruiting before the great recession you may recall that although a long tenure at a job had been a standing desire of many employees, in the mid 2000’s choosing to change jobs was becoming much more common.

In early 2000 through 2009 North American workers were on the move. Among the many reasons were a combination of age and opportunities; baby boomers had long-term successful careers, money in the bank and were looking for new experiences. Employers were opening their doors looking to shore up their workforce in anticipation of looming baby boomer retirements.  Employers were very open to the idea of ‘transferable skills’ and were actively chasing the earliest Millennials hitting the job market. Then the recession hit and things changed. For the next several years ‘seeking to change jobs’ was replaced by putting you head down and hoping you would not be the next person to lose your job.

Around 2012 things began to shift again as surveys of employees showed an emerging desire to again begin changing jobs, but most were not doing anything about it. Now, according to a 2015 LinkedIn data analysis, Why and How People Change Jobs it looks like employees are ready find a new job.  The data came from reviewing 7 million job seekers and 10,000+ survey respondents. According to LinkedIn:

  • “Active” job seekers have grown by 36% in the past 4 years to 30% in 2015.
  • ‘Warm passive’ candidates (those reaching out to the networks and open to recruiter conversations) has grown by 16% to 57% in 2015
  • ‘Super passive’  (those who don’t want to move) has dropped 55% to 13% in 2015.

What LinkedIn Discovered

Why would they change jobs?

The number one reason LinkedIn members will change jobs was not money, though that was important, it was that they wanted a new career opportunity. The list included some insightful information for retention as the number two reason someone wanted to leave was being unsatisfied with senior leadership and management (41%). After that the reasons included unsatisfied with the work culture, wanting more challenging roles (both 36%), unsatisfied with compensation and benefits, 34% and wanting more rewards and recognition 32%.

Where is the talent going?

Changing companies: The trend among job seekers was to leave large employers, those with 5K or more employees and head to small employers, those with 500 employees or fewer. Although LinkedIn did not say way, the trend of many large employers to shed jobs, particularly with older workers, could be one reasonable explanation.

Changing sectors: They also changed sectors, with technology – software, healthcare and oil and energy being the biggest gainers while professional services, government, education and non-profit and retail and consumer goods being the bigger losers. Which makes sense on many levels including younger employees and recent graduates leaving their entry-level jobs or non-profit low paying jobs as they gained experience and as older workers were let go to save money and make room for new, younger employees.

Who changed jobs and which jobs were difficult to fill?

There appears to be a demand and a shortage of Engineers as LinkedIn reported that the most movement they identified was among people who changed paths to become engineers and engineers was the second most difficult role to fill. The most difficult roles to fill was skilled trades, followed by sales reps, technicians, accounting and finance, management and executives, IT staff, drivers, admin and labourers (note that perhaps some of these jobs, skilled labourers, drivers and labourers were not well represented on LinkedIn or in the survey respondents).

How did they change jobs?

Most job changers in the survey heard about their new jobs right from their contacts but other traditional methods were also in the top 5

  1. Referrals/someone they knew
  2. Staffing agencies and recruiters
  3. Online job board
  4. Social professional networks
  5. Hiring manager outreach.

If you are looking to target millennials 3rd party websites and online job boards were their preferred source, for Gen X it was recruiters, headhunters and staffing firms and for boomers it was a referral from someone at the company that brought them in the door.

Candidates Biggest Complaints

  1. Hiring managers want the perfect candidate and are not willing to invest in training or think outside the current job description box
  2. Job descriptions are not informative or reflective of the real job
  3. The slow process of learning about and obtaining a new job

4 Final Recruiting Tips

  • Identify your candidate targets and understand how to source them differently – Geography and age impact how candidates hear about recruitment efforts and what attracts them to make a change.
  • Engage your employees to become active brand ambassadors, sharing not only job postings but information about company culture, details about job functions and information about leadership.
  • Get visible on many fronts including posting jobs in many places and including informative details about the role. Share information on company culture including having your managers leaders actively sharing information transparency from leadership often attracts people ready to make a move
  • Think outside the box in terms of which candidates might meet a companies needs. Waiting for the purple squirrel who fits perfectly might be limiting your ability to find the talent you need to make a difference in the organization.

Why and How People Change Jobs

1 in 5 workers plan to change jobs in 2014, According to CareerBuilder