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Job-hopping Reaches New High...What does this mean for Business?

May 08, 2017

More Americans have been leaving one job for another as of late...but it’s not as bad a situation as you might think.....

More Americans are switching their jobs as of late....why? Experts say it’s a sign of “business confidence” and an overall growing assurance that the U.S. economy is strengthening.

People are unlikely to quit their job if they are not certain they will find another, pointing to an overall surge in worker confidence. Also, more workers are confident enough to switch industries as of late, which also points to workers’ heightened inclination to acquire transferable skills, and thus be valuable in a variety of industries (see our blog for more).

However....Hiring still remains below the rate of openings. Many employers and economists credit the ever-present skills gap as a major factor holding the U.S. economy back.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

In January, the number of Americans quitting their jobs rose to a seasonally-adjusted total of 3.22 million, the highest number since February 2001!

The ‘quits rate,’ accordingly, rose in January to 2.2%.

My experience

As the director of the KLR Executive Search Group, LLC, I have personally seen high turnover in CFO roles and other high level positions. CFOs will often switch jobs every three years, for a number of reasons—higher pay, furthering skills, etc. And they’re not alone—employers are constantly seeking a fresh outlook on their operations, company mission and overall workplace culture—job “hoppers” join companies knowing they have to learn fast and make a good impression, and improve a company’s bottom line.

Many high-end candidates get calls DAILY for opportunities at other companies. Essentially it comes down to supply and demand—the demand for highly-skilled executives is high, while the supply is low. Those who are out of work are fully available for open positions (in the CFO realm); however the skill level employers are looking for is largely only available with those who are already employed

The importance of a company’s benefits

As for retaining younger staff, benefits packages are hugely important. A young professional might switch jobs when he/she receives an offer for better benefits. The technology industry is constantly looking for ways to tailor their benefits packages to make them more innovative and attractive to younger generations. As a result, more companies, across all industries, are creating more benefits to accommodate these desires. Many companies have started using equity plays as a recruiting tool of late—a new hire will get a private equity stock offer just for accepting a job. Other companies offer continuing education, paternity leave and even help with student loans.

So, although ‘quit rates’ have increased—it has resulted in a generally positive outlook for many businesses. A fresh perspective can do wonders for a company that is perhaps struggling to reach their next goal. The rate at which a person gains experience or new skills, in other words, their ‘learning curve’ is said to plateau around the third year at the same job—making a job switch seemingly essential for personal growth as well as the company’s growth in many cases.

For further guidance, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the KLR Executive Search Group, LLC.

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