Are your workers looking elsewhere?

There’s one way to make your top talent stay – and no, it’s not a pay rise

Are your workers looking elsewhere?
If your staff are spending more company time updating their LinkedIn profiles or you’re frantically tackling an upswing in attrition, your plan for holding onto top talent needs a rethink.

A new survey by Hays Canada reveals workers are increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs, and they’re looking elsewhere – in fact, 89.8 percent of the 4000 employees surveyed said they would consider leaving their current job for something else, up from the 77.6 percent in 2013.

While that indicates confidence in the job market – and that’s good news for recruiters –  it also means employers could face a struggle to hold onto their best workers, unless they understand what it is that will make them stay.

That, too, has shifted: while compensation still dominates workers’ career decisions, 74 percent say they’d take a pay cut for their ideal job, and 41 percent said company culture was their primary motivator in deciding where to move next.

Hays Canada’s president Rowan O’Grady says that shows a real shift from the post-recession mood – where workers were just happy to have a job – which now “feels like a distant memory”.

“It’s a little bit like the dating scene. If you don’t have very many options, and no one’s asking you out on a date, you probably end up setting for the best that you can do, whereas if you’ve got lots of options and lots of people are interested in going out with you, then your expectation rises,” he says.

Workers are seeing more of their friends find new jobs, and getting more callbacks from recruiters, which is buoying their confidence.

“We’re starting to see people thinking ‘hang on a second, I think I should be progressing faster than I am, how come I haven’t had that promotion, I don’t think my company’s investing enough in me’, and the fear of being out there in the job market has kind of gone away, because it feels good.”

O’Grady warns there’s also a disconnect between what HR professionals are offering staff to stay – usually pay rises and flexibility – and what workers really want.

“The irony is when you ask candidates what’s most important, it’s a resounding ‘career progression’. They’re not as bothered, actually, about work from home and flexible work hours. What they want to know is ‘am I getting somewhere, am I advancing in some way, am I learning new things’.”

Millennials, especially, have different expectations of work: “It’s not just ‘I’m happy I have a job and I should be satisfied with that’, it’s expecting more from work – the variety, the progression, the challenge, professional development, career progression, all of those things.”

“Our advice to employers is: think about how you can show progression, advancement, and also it doesn’t necessarily have to be just to promote everybody. There can be other things that you can do.”

Related stories:
How to cut hiring and retention costs
Here’s what employees want in 2018

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