Job Hopping Remains Common, But Do You Know Why?

In a tight labor market, jobseekers have the upper hand and will move from company to company until they find the perfect fit. If you thought it was your job—as a talent acquisition professional—to find candidates who would be the best fit for your company, then think again! In the candidate-driven market, jobseekers are the ones who call all the shots these days.


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Instead of losing your best and brightest workers to your competition, you must have an employee retention strategy in place. Consider this statistic from a recent Gallup report: U.S. businesses are losing $1 trillion every year due to voluntary employee turnover.

A new report released by iHire, a job board website, reveals what’s causing employees to head for “greener pastures.” The 2019 Talent Retention Report features survey data from 1,171 active and passive jobseekers using iHire’s platform. iHire sought to discover why employees leave their jobs and what would make them stay with their current employers if a better opportunity arose.

Key Findings

According to the report, roughly 52% of jobseekers have voluntarily left a job in the last 5 years, and about 31% say they plan on leaving their current employers within the year.

When it comes to employee engagement, a majority of respondents (59.9%) said they were either “somewhat satisfied” or “neither satisfied nor unsatisfied,” while almost 18% said they are “very satisfied.”

However, 35% of respondents confessed to searching for a new job while on the clock with their current employer. Of those respondents, 55% of employees who have searched for a new role while at work were “somewhat satisfied” (40%) or “very satisfied” (15%) with their current job. So what would cause these workers to look for a new job?

Money Talks …

Unsatisfactory salary/pay was the number one reason employees look for new jobs, cited by almost 17% of respondents. Other reasons include:

  • Few growth or advancement opportunities (11.7%),
  • Negative/toxic work environments (10.7%),
  • Stress and/or unmanageable workload, i.e., burnout (9.5%), and
  • Poor work/life balance (7%), among other responses.

While 17% doesn’t seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, it’s worth noting that unsatisfactory salary/pay was the most popular reason for seeking a new job. The iHire report also asked respondents: What could their current employer provide to increase the chance that they’d stay with them? And unsurprisingly, pay comes back into play here, as well!

Over 48% of respondents said getting a raise or bonus would make them stay with their current employer. Also worth noting is that respondents were allowed to pick three reasons, and this was the top choice, followed by:

  • Better benefits package (25.1%),
  • Healthier work/life balance (22.5%),
  • Clear growth or advancement opportunities (21.6%),
  • Flexible/work-from-home scheduling options (14.7%), and
  • Meaningful employee recognition (11.7%), among other responses.

… But Company Culture Reigns Supreme

While some research may say that pay doesn’t matter, it obviously does. And this isn’t the first time we’re reporting this fact either, but many companies have previously reported that offering a competitive salary is challenging. For companies that are unable to offer the compensations their workforce craves, they turn to improving the culture as a means of retaining talent.

iHire’s report suggests putting your current culture under a microscope to identify what is and isn’t working. “Just about every effort you make to keep staff aboard must be supported by a strong, rewarding, and unique work culture—one that your employees cannot find anywhere else.”

“Start addressing turnover by surveying your staff to gain a better idea of what’s working, what’s not, and what you could do to improve,” suggests the report. “Taking that feedback to heart, identify five or so core values—a set of fundamental beliefs that guide everything you do as an organization. Whether you are interacting with customers, ideating a new product, or sponsoring a community event, those values should shine through.”

While every company is different and requires a different culture, iHire suggests a few ways you can improve yours:

  1. Offer small perks to reward hard work. Offering small perks like free snacks or holding monthly happy hours outside of the workplace gives employees something to look forward to and makes them feel appreciated. It can also help strengthen team bonds.
  2. Embrace flexibility. Work/life balance is mentioned a lot throughout the iHire report, which means it’s something your employees hold dear to their hearts. If you allow your employees to have a flexible schedule, they’ll be able to achieve the work/life balance they desire.
  3. Offer professional development opportunities. Offering employees the ability to grow in their careers is a great retention strategy, and it can also impact the company’s bottom line. Additionally, if employees know you have their long-term careers in mind, they’ll be more likely to stay with your company longer.
  4. Focus on employee well-being. When your employees aren’t stressing about life, they’re apt to be more productive at work. Commit to a wellness program that fits their needs. Try offering gym membership reimbursement, financial planning for the future, or even annual health screenings.

These are just a small sample of the ways you can create or improve your company’s culture. Check out the iHire report to learn more. And remember, it’s a candidate’s market—you’ll only win the war for talent if you’re standing out above the rest.

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