Workers Looking to Jump Ship for Better Career Opportunities

September 21, 2016 – The global labor market is warming up and active job seeking is on the rise, according to CEB, a best practice insight and technology company. In their latest report, global talent monitor data is drawn from CEB’s ‘Global Labor Market Survey,’ which is made up of more than 20,000 employees in 40 countries.

Employees have long believed that the job opportunities they were seeking did not exist in the labor market. However as companies increasingly turn to mass media to promote appealing employment brands and job opportunities, they are being convinced otherwise. Data from CEB’s survey suggests that employees may finally be ready to make a move.

“For some time, employees have been questioning their future with their current organizations and have been passively evaluating new opportunities,” said Brian Kropp, CEB HR practice leader. “With more companies publicly promoting their workplace benefits and amping up the cool factor, many employees are feeling that the grass really is greener elsewhere and are ready to move on.”

Keeping Top Talent In Place

While this is good news for companies looking to attract new talent, employers looking to retain their best people must also take notice. In fact, employees’ intent to stay with their current employers continues to decline globally. Latin America and North America experienced the sharpest declines at three percent and two percent respectively.

Employees are also putting in less effort at work in all regions except North America. To keep top talent in place, companies will need to better promote internal job opportunities and benefits, rather than letting employees think they must go elsewhere to find the jobs they want.

Global Outliers

Despite the uptick in job seeking, employees in places like the U.K. and China are facing new uncertainties due to political and economic-driven events. U.K. employees, who were already facing a rising frequency of change at work, were further taxed by anticipation of the Brexit referendum. As a result, only 17 percent of Brits were ready to go above and beyond on the job in the last three months.

The Chinese labor market also cooled, as evidenced by lower employee merit increase expectations, which dropped from 10 percent in 2006 to just three percent in Q2. For the first time, these expectations are below the global average, stripping China of its prominence as the world’s hottest labor market. Instead, geographies including Latin America, the Philippines and parts of Southeast Asia, are emerging as competitive talent hotbeds.

Guidance for Talent-Focused Executives


In this quarter’s podcast, CEB HR practice leader, Brian Kropp, shares an overview of the global labor market and actionable strategies to help employers attract newly active job seekers while keeping their current high performers in seat. Listen Now.

Regardless of geography, employees want to grow in their careers and they are willing to exit their current employers if they believe career opportunities are unavailable to them. Companies must focus on core retention strategies to stave off employee exits, including:

Providing Internal Career Mobility: Employees believe it is easier to get a new job at a different company than to get a new job with their current employer. Companies need to address this by creating a robust internal job market that enables employees to move across the organization trying new jobs. Creating career partnerships enables employees to grow, and become more marketable and loyal, while also offering organizations a better talent pool internally. 

Building Awareness Through Improved Communication: Managers and leaders must increase their communication to employees about the job opportunities and benefits that are available. Employees will be less likely to “quit-in-seat” if they understand the opportunities for growth at their current employer and believe that moving jobs within the organization is not only possible, but considered a good thing.

“Organizations that want to avoid having their employees quit in seat need to create an environment where employees know they are valued and understand the benefits the organization offers,” Mr. Kropp said. “Otherwise, your best talent will be lured away by companies that communicate their benefits and employee value proposition better.”

Other reports have concluded that to keep your best talent, a company must fully engage its employees.

Companies are making progress — but not everyone is on board at their respective workplaces. Seventy one percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged, according to new analysis by the Hay Group division of Korn Ferry. That means close to a third aren’t, and the impact unengaged workers have on their companies cannot be overstated.

“Full time U.S. employees work nearly 50 hours a week – equivalent to almost six working days,” said Mark Royal, a senior principal with Korn Ferry Hay Group. “When you consider that nearly a third of employees are not engaged, that’s a lot of time wasted for both those employees and their employers who are not getting the full impact of their potential.”

Impact on Bottom Line

Additional Korn Ferry Hay Group research demonstrates that an engaged workforce has a significant impact on the bottom line, boosting revenue growth up to two and a half times, depending on the level of engagement.

“Many factors go into creating a culture of engagement, including empowering and developing employees to make a meaningful impact on the success of the organization,” said Mr. Royal. “When this happens, employees will stay on the job and be productive, and their employers will reap the benefits.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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