Employees Never Really Stop Looking for Their Next Job

A recent survey shows that a decent percentage of employees are on the constant lookout for a better opportunity.

Retaining employees can be hard, especially employees who are always on the move. Known as “Continuous Candidates,” more than one-third (37%) of employees across the globe are always looking for their next job opportunity, according to a global study of jobseekers conducted by ManpowerGroup Solutions.
With employee churn becoming increasingly costly for companies, it is more important than ever for employers to step up their efforts to reduce turnover by improving retention efforts and recruitment processes. ManpowerGroup Solutions provides practical recommendations for doing just that in a recent paper, Always Looking: The Rise of Continuous Candidates.
The prevalence of Continuous Candidates in Mexico and the United States far exceeds the global average, with 50% and 41%, respectively, agreeing with the statement, “I am always looking for the next job opportunity.” This can be linked to several factors:

  1. New ways of getting work done are emerging in the United States more than anywhere else. The popularity and visibility of the “gig economy” with companies like Uber and TaskRabbit are redefining how people work.
  2. Tech firms have also led the way on contract employment worldwide. Because they are the organizations with fastest changing skills requirements, using contractors allows them to not rely on skills within the organization that may become obsolete.
  3. Layoffs and job losses experienced in the wake of the recession sent the message to young and old alike that job security is not necessarily guaranteed.

“Looking at Millennials and Gen Y, our research shows that it is the older Millennials – with more work experience – who are most likely to be habitually looking for jobs,” said Kate Donovan, senior vice president of ManpowerGroup Solutions and Global RPO president—in a press release. “In organizations where employers are not meeting their candidates’ expectations or aspirations for advancement, that is where individuals will be more likely to always be looking out for their next opportunity.”
The paper provides nine tips for companies to retain existing talent and better screen for prospective employees in today’s world of Continuous Candidates, some of which include:

  1. Speak fluent advancement. Hiring managers must be able to proactively articulate the opportunities for advancement to candidates, as career pathways are an increasingly important component of the employer value proposition (EVP). To engage the best and brightest talent, employers must offer this information up front, instead of waiting for the candidates to ask.
  2. Foster “learnability.” Continuous Candidates want continuous education, so learnability—the desire and ability to quickly grow and adapt one’s skills to remain employable—is important. Employers can nurture learnability through providing or reimbursing for professional development opportunities, internal and external training, or advanced degree programs.
  3. Mentor, mentor, mentor. Skill acquisition, regular feedback, teamwork, and exposure to successful role models strengthen the bond between an employee and the company they work for. Many savvy Millennials identify the position they want within an organization and network with the individual currently in that role. Rather than be threatened by this, managers and executives should embrace it.

“Companies need to create a culture that people don’t want to leave – branding and trust are critical components of this,” said Sarah Peiker, head of RPO Practice, ManpowerGroup Solutions Europe. “Employers are going to have to become an employer of choice.”
As if this news isn’t bad enough for recruiters, tomorrow we’ll look at a separate study that shows that quite a few workers are open to leaving their current employees.

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