While it’s been over five years since the Great Recession, a continuing aftershock from 2009’s economic struggles includes the thinking pattern of potential employees. A 2012 Forbes online article mentioned the number of temporary or contract positions available was up 6% from 2011’s figures. In this same article it was noted that over 40% more people held temp jobs in 2012 than in 2009. What does this all point to? There is the possibility that candidates have moved from looking for a career and to looking strictly for jobs. According to Jennifer Loftus, National Director of Astron Solutions, “this switch from careers to jobs signals challenges for employers. We expect employee engagement levels to potentially decline, as employees move into a more transient mindset vis-à-vis their employers.”
An August 2014 Fortune online article highlighted that 86% of job seekers who are currently employed are looking for work outside their current occupations. The article quoted Tara Sinclair, an Indeed.com economist, saying, “We expect to see that as the economy improves, more job hunters will try to move into something that’s closer to their ‘dream job’.” Another concern to keep in mind is that millennials continue to enter the workforce. The trend is for 91% of millennials to stay less than three years in a job, with 54% wanting to start their own business – and many have already have done so. So what does this mean for Human Resources?
Quite possibly the dreaded three words: high turnover rates. On the NBC news online economy watch page, Joel Naroff, President of Naroff Economic Advisors, mentioned, “Once job growth picks up and the unemployment rate comes down, it’s ‘Take this job and shove it’ time and the turnover is going to be massive because everybody has been dumped on for the last five years. For those businesses (in which) turnover matters, it’s going to kill them.”
What are some organizations doing to combat the possibility of waves of turnover? The short answer: money. Tara Sinclair mentioned in Indeed.com’s research, “As a rule, our research showed that people who are already in highly paid occupations want to stay in their current fields…money isn’t usually what attracts people to a job, according to our findings, but it can be very useful for retention.”
Another option is flexibility. “Highly skilled employees, such as in tech and mathematics, are especially interested in flexibility…even those who are employed full-time right now are searching our site for part-time jobs, and for companies that allowed flexible arrangements like job-sharing,” according to Sinclair. Millennials are another group that considers flexibility important. Roughly 45% of Millennials will choose flexibility over pay when selecting between employment offers.
Has your organization observed a spike in turnover? Have you noticed other trends as an aftershock from the 2009 Recession? Has your organization found solutions to these HR challenges? Please share with us! We’d love to feature you in a future issue of Astronology!