Job-hopping On the Rise

By Staff Report

Jul. 23, 2004

The percentage of American employees who chose to change employers has increased for the fourth consecutive quarter, according to Lee Hecht Harrison.

International Communications Research did the study for Lee Hecht Harrison, surveying 1,019 adult Americans by phone.

Bernadette Kenny is executive vice president for Lee Hecht Harrison. “During the depths of the downturn,” she says, “most people who weren’t laid off, or in imminent danger, stayed put. They were grateful to have jobs, even if they weren’t happy in them. Now with the recovery making slow but steady strides and new jobs opening up, more workers seem emboldened to make a move.”

As to whether the proverbial “war for talent” is back, Kenny tells Workforce Management that “I do not think it ever ended.” Sure, says Kenny, there are plenty of people looking for jobs. But employers, she says, are just bringing people on board slowly. “They’re being very, very cautious,” she says, because they realize how expensive it can be if a new hire doesn’t work out. “At some level, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.”

To deal with the increase in job-hopping, Kenny says that senior management needs to make a decision about whether the company wants to be an employer of choice. If so, she says, “that cascades into a lot of decisions.” Companies will want to identify who their talented employees and potential employees are. They also need to groom replacements for the top talent so that the high-potential employees can get promoted.

Employment Status At End of the Quarter Compared to Beginning
 2nd Quarter 1st  Q4th  Q 3rd Q 2nd Q
You left your employer voluntarily for a new job6.0 percent5.


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